Coquetdale Wildlife Trust

Island exploration

The Coquetdale branch of the wildlife trust was treated to a wonderful day trip on Holy Island to see the orchids and other flowers.

After a slow start due to road works, which delayed our arrival onto the island, we had a very special outing led by Chris Metherell, the BSBI representative in North Northumberland.

Chris was most impressive and talked to us enthusiastically about orchids, flowers, sedges and grasses, giving us both the flowers’ Latin and common names, often with explanations as to how the plants were so named.

Chris knew Holy Island extremely well.

He could guide to us to clumps of marsh orchids, and to the even rarer coral root orchid, which is found on Lindisfarne.

Chris explained how many orchids have interbred to create hybrid species and how to recognise them.

Besides the orchids, we saw many varieties of grasses, including Quaker grass, many sedges, mares tail (the dinosaur plant), horses tail, scarlet pimpernel and many, many more.

We were very fortunate with the weather that meant our walkabout was very pleasant, as well as very informative. Our next meeting will be in Rothbury on September 7. This will be Geoff Sample talking about the ‘Sounds of the Borders and Beyond’.

We look forward to seeing you there; this will be the first talk of our new series.