The 12 hectare expanse of Whitefield provided an apt setting for our Summer Nature Weekend of public outreach at Dyrham Park. The flower-rich meadow was full of colour and spectacle, with red clover, lesser trefoil and yellow rattle abundant amongst the swaying knee-high grasses, predominated by crested dog’s-tail. Misty pom-poms of goat’s-beard decorated the sward at remarkably evenly spaced intervals. Flowering spikes of pyramidal, spotted, southern marsh and bee orchids, along with common broomrape and tall outbursts of rough hawk’s-beard punctuated the scene, and were made easy to observe close-up from the mown paths cut by the National Trust. Swifts scythed low over the sward while skylarks ascended the air waves.
Photographs of orchids by John Garrett