Gallery

Blue Bell Hill snow slope and memorial tree.
©Kent Wildlife Trust

Harebells at Blue Bell Hill.
©Kent Wildlife Trust

Rockrose, Birds foot trefoil and wild thyme

Rockrose, birds foot trefoil and wild thyme.

The wild thyme is the easiest one to spot. It is the small pinky purple one scattered throughout the foreground. The birds foot trefoil is the yellow pea flower shaped one in the foreground. In the far bottom left corner, next to the purple selfheal, there are some tiny yellow pea shaped flowers clustered into a ball. These are black medick. In the back of the photo, in the middle, are the yellow flowers that look at first glance like buttercup. These are rockrose flowers, the petals made out of much more delicate material than buttercups. All except the medick (which is much more common than the rest) are vital to a thriving chalk grassland habitat as there are many invertebrates which rely on them. ©Kent Wildlife Trust

Autumn Gentian, dwarf thistle and Squninancywort

Autumn gentian, dwarf thistle and squinancywort

Autumn gentian is the tallest plant in the picture with apparently closed buds. It very rarely grows this tall but it had a bumper year as the weather was perfect and they were protected from rabbits grazing by the ring of dwarf thistle around them. The dwarf thistle are the pink flowers. The very short flower stem which gives it its name (also picnickers’ thistle, cos you always manage to sit on one!, or stemless thistle) protects the flowers from rabbit grazing as the surrounding rosette of leaves is incredibly sharp. The Squinancywort (what a great name) are the tiny white flowers dotted all around the bigger flowers. They are no more than a couple of mm across in size and the leaves mimic a blade of grass so they are incredibly hard to spot until they come into flower. All three are indicators of exceptionally good quality chalk grassland. ©Kent Wildlife Trust

Maidstone disappears….
©Kent Wildlife Trust

Bee Orchid.
©Kent Wildlife Trust

Common Spotted Orchid.
©Kent Wildlife Trust

Silver-spotted Skipper at Blue Bell Hill 

The silver spotted skipper is an extremely rare butterfly that was re-established on a neighbouring reserve and has found a home on Blue Bell Hill. ©Dave Watson

Straw Belle at Blue Bell Hill

Straw Belle at Blue Bell Hill

The Straw belle is an even rarer moth. ©Kent Wildlife Trust