The flower map for Saltburn can be found using the link below.

Saltburn Flower Walk (pdf)

4th July at Saltburn-by-the-Sea

Posted on 19th July 2015 by Martin Allen

Even though I arrived a little bit late (car trouble – soz everyone) 26 people were all waiting patiently and enjoying the hot Saturday afternoon sun on Marine Parade.

Descending the concrete steps to the beach we stopped halfway down to compare the vegetation on both sides of the path. On the left cliff face leading up to the street nutrient-rich loving species like False Oat-grass, Hogweed and Broad-leaved Dock leading on into a vast scramble of Bramble, whilst on the right a peninsula where the soil is nutrient-poor and there were low growing plants of Common Bird’s-foot-trefoil, Cat’s-ear, Rough Hawkbit, and Yarrow.

From the bottom of the path we crossed to the cliff edge opposite to look at Wild Carrot, the locally rare Small Scabious and then everyone tasted a leaf of Salad Burnet (Hmmm….ooooh, hang on….don’t tell me – oh errrr it’s…*pause*…thoughtful look…*pause* “Is it cucumber?” “Yes”).


Round the corner we went to note that here the cliff goes directly to the beach edge with very little by the way of typical sand dune grasses inbetween, although we did find the odd bit of Sand Couch and the glaucous blue-leaved Lyme-grass. It was interesting to see the largish leaves of Colt’s-foot scattered across the cliff in the bare soil areas where there had been a landslip; colt’s-foot flowers are like yellow dandelions and appear earlier in the year before the leaves so the two aren’t always connected as the same plant and it spreads by underground stolons which sprout leaves again when snapped much like a dandelion root does.

We then proceeded to troop in single file in a zig-zag fashion up the side of the cliff to look at one of the few sites in the area where Grass-of-Parnassus grows (sadly not flowering) with the almost undetectable Marsh Arrow-grass in full flower, Common Spotted-orchid, Northern Marsh Orchid, the hybrid between the two, and a single flower spike of another orchid, the green flowered Common Twayblade, before carefully clambering back down the cliff face. As one lady said at the end of the walk “I’ve lived here sixty years and never seen some of those flowers”…well that’s possibly because for sixty years you had more sense than to walk up an almost vertical cliff-face…


The community of wildflowers on the cliff face along here is very like that of old unploughed meadows – very diverse and full to bursting with flower in the summer and all the attendant bees and insects – because it has never been ploughed, fertilized or treated with herbicides.


We also stopped to see the tiny blue flowers of common milkwort (also available in pale blue and purple elsewhere on the cliff-face) and nearby the delicate seeds of Quaking-grass both next to a large patch of Sea Rocket growing in the sand just inside a small cove, before going on along the beach to a patch of cliff where the grass was grazed short by rabbits and masses of Pyramidal Orchids were flowering. Fortunately the orchids grew almost down to the beach so no climbing was necessary this time and we could admire them on mass and also close-up; a beautiful way to end the walk.

Saltburn-by-the-Sea; an evening wander on Tuesday July 21st

Posted on 30th July 2015 by Martin Allen

Lovely evening, but just chilly enough to be wearing a light jumper (a green one in my case, although I notice from the photos that everyone else seems to have a coat on – must be summer then).


So, having gathered on Paradise Road, we walked halfway down the steps to the beach and I talked about how some plants grew on the side with that was nutrient-rich and some on the side that was nutrient-poor albeit growing much shorter and that there were different species of plants on each side. We noticed (after I’d pointed it out) that a few different species were present only in one spot down the side of the cliff – Meadowsweet, Great Willowherb and Hard Rush where I said it would be wetter than elsewhere in order for those plants to grow well. We talked (okay, I talked and everyone else politely listened and nodded in the right places because #polite) about how plants have a Goldilocks spot where the conditions are just right for them to grow and flower (and there isn’t any other plant there which can grow better than them and so shade them out). Also, while we were there, we looked at the surprisingly attractive seaside form of curled dock and I then explained how it differed from the inland form (You can imagine how everyone felt when they found that out…well you can if try really hard).


And so down the steps and across the path to look at the cliff face opposite. I did my impression of the sermon on the mount I notice, although at the time I was too busy pointing out the locally rare Small Scabious which is found scattered on this cliff-side and also other more familiar sea-side plants which were looking particularly flowery like Common Restharrow, Sea Plantain and Wild Carrot.


A quick march along the beach and then up the cliff (if you walk up in a zigzag it’s not so very steep) to see the absolutely stunningly-beautiful white flowers (only two open) of Grass-of-Parnassus growing in a nutrient-poor wet flush on the cliffside near the top. On the way were the likes of Marsh Fragrant-orchid, Pyramidal Orchid and the last of the Common Spotted-orchid flowers, along with a large patch of Zigzag Clover and much Rough Hawkbit (though with flowers closed as it was evening) on the way down.

Back towards Saltburn, and where the stream from Hazel Grove runs onto the beach we stopped to look at Frosted Orache, Spear-leaved Orache, Sea Rocket and Sea Sandwort before walking back up the steps which I noticed were steeper going up than coming down…how does that happen?