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Marske Flower Walk (pdf)

Evening walk at Marske seafront on 18th June

Posted on 21st June 2015 by Martin Allen

Even though it was chilly, a bit windy, and threatened to rain, the wildflowers shone through on our circular walk from St. Germain’s Church over to ‘Blue Mountain’ then across the sea front north to the Slipway returning over the top along the mown grass in front of the houses to cross through St Germain’s churchyard.


There were interesting patches of White Campion (some infected with a black smut growing on the anthers) Red Campion and probably the hybrid between the two. Lesser Meadow-rue was just starting into flower as was the Viper’s Bugloss after which ‘Blue Mountain’ was probably named. The flowers of Common Mallow, Cat’s-ear and Rough Hawkbit had closed up for the evening unfortunately but we were still able to see small spikes of Northern Marsh-orchid, Common Spotted-orchid and the hybrid between the two looking especially attractive when growing within clumps of yellow Common Bird’s-foot-trefoil.


Of the seaside plants, there were a few of Sea-beet, some spreading mats of Sea Sandwort and some charming lilac-flowered Sea Rocket although this latter plant was mainly at the Slipway end of the walk.


An interesting collection of garden escapes was noted; long established clumps of Japanese Rose (in dark pink, pink and white flowered forms) and Monbretia, to more recent additions of Elephant’s ears, Iceplant, Alyssum and Fuchsia.


Whilst returning we noted in the mown grass smaller forms of the plants growing in the dunes like Sea Plantain, Ribwort Plantain, and Lady’s Bedstraw.

Marske-by-the-Sea. Sunday afternoon on the beach; 16th August.

Posted on 18th August 2015

Sunny intervals, turning cooler later.

We started out looking at the white (and one pink form) Yarrow flowers in the field by the road and then looked at the Common Knotgrass (tiny pale flowers), Common Mallow (big purple flowers) and the Wall Barley growing by the side of the path.


Then down the steps pausing to look out over ‘Blue Mountain’ which was looking very blue on the field part where previously grazed Viper’s Bugloss was now flowering in some profusion. We got to look at it close up as we walked past it on the steep narrow path, noting also a few harebells. The term ‘Blue Mountain’ was given apparently due to the sheer amounts of Harebells on there in the 60’s. It’s certainly a possibility as the habitat could have been more suited to them then, though now there is more Viper’s Bugloss.


Along the top we saw Common Knapweed and Rough Hawkbit flowering in profusion, stopped to admire and smell Lucerne, and looked at some of the plants usually found growing in sand dunes by the beach growing here in sand dunes on the top of a cliff; “The wind can be quite strong here”.

Then at the edge of the cliff to peer down at massed white flowers of Shasta Daisies with the odd bright orange Montbretia and also, on careful inspection, the silvery-grey leaves of Snow-in-Summer. All these are garden plants and it was odd that they should be growing here just at this section of cliff….well odd until you looked at a map from 1953 which showed holiday chalets. Two people on the walk remembered the little wooden huts from the sixties. The plants that people put in their gardens around the chalets are still there, but other traces of that time are now gone.


And so down to the beach with a short wander along to look at Sea Sandwort, Sea Rocket and Frosted Orache growing at their ‘Goldilocks’ spot on the beach, before it was time to clamber a short way up the cliff face to see Marsh Fragrant-orchid (it was…we all sniffed it), some Quaking-grass, Carline Thistle and a couple of plants of the locally rare Small Scabious which was flowering profusely.


I also pointed out the glaucous-leaved seaside subspecies of Red Fescue…everyone still smiled and nodded politely but I fear I had gone slightly too far over into the nerdy side of wild flowers. Still, never mind. A short wander along the cliffside and we found a colony of Common Twayblade with a couple of plants still showing their strange green flowers and then on at a 45 degree angle to see Water Mint and Square-stalked St John’s-wort growing in a rabbit-grazed wet flush.

Further up the beach there was a plant so esoterically nerdy that it technically wasn’t even a plant, so I’ll just say it was one of those ‘moments’ where you had to be there really. Then back along the beach looking at the coloured pebbles, the Razor Clam shells, and some Sandpipers running madly back and forth in a game of ‘chase’ with the sea.