We hope this section will carry brief reports of formal and informal Club outings and activities. Please feel free to add comments and information.

OFC Flora Group - A walk at Scapa

by Anne - 09:14 on 11 June 2015


We decided that if we waited for a nice evening before doing any thing we might never venture out at all this year, so 5 suitably-clad botanists headed into the rain on Wednesday evening.

We looked at grasses and the many vari-colour clumps of “Red” Campion, before crossing the Scapa Distillery burn. Plenty of flies here meant there were also plenty of swallows feeding. In the burn we found Brooklime (Miss Veronica Beccabunga) and clumps of Monkey Flower (Mimulus).  The rain eased to a drizzle when we arrived at the site for Early Purple Orchid – or Dead Man’s Liver in Orkney dialect!

We found quite an extensive colony along both sides of the cliff path. Here the group split into two, with John heading down the cliffs to look at plants growing in the fertile spring lines (or ‘flushes’), whilst the others continued along the upper path to see just how far along the Orchid colony extended.  This route recorded the transition to heath-loving plants, whilst near the foot of the cliffs Butterwort was in flower, and an uncommon and distinctive grass (Wood False-brome) typical of woodlands was found. Indicative that this shoreline was once wooded.

The conditions were great for snails, with many colourful specimens seen.  On the way back to our cars rain had once again set in with a vengeance, but we found some Scot’s Lovage to add to our total of 88 species.  Not bad for a slippery, soggy, two-hour exploration!

It was great to meet some new faces and visits like this are open to all. Arrangements are made by e-mail, so drop John a line on [email protected] to keep up to date. And maybe the next evening trip may actually remain dry? 

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