Signs of Spring – plant and wildflower walk on 12 April

On Saturday 12 April we organised a guided walk that focussed on flora and trees surrounding Reepham’s footpaths. Although this was quite early in the year for wild flower observation the general lack of thick undergrowth allowed us to see small plants beginning to emerge and also permitted close inspection of banks etc. which later in the spring would be covered by thick vegetation. Also, sufficient trees were now in leaf to help in the identification of nearly all species!

On an old path at Whitwell - Tony Foottit explains all about Dog's Mercury!

On an old path at Whitwell – Tony Foottit explains all about Dog’s Mercury!

We were led by Anthony Foottit, a Reepham resident and member of our Connecting Threads core team who has also published a book on British wild flora. He has a special interest in the traditions and religious and other symbolism that has surrounded wayside plants since medieval times so he had many interesting stories to tell.

We were especially interested in what Tony had to say about a small number of species (lesser celandine, polypody fern, bluebell, dog’s mercury) that might be regarded as good indicators of long-established woodland, and are thus significant when noted on footpath banks and field edges. This kind of advice was extremely useful to the project members who were to undertake some field recording of paths during the few weeks that followed.

Twenty-one people attended a really enjoyable morning’s walk.