This has been a year of astonishing growth: more grass than we have ever seen, nettles at head height, trees and shrubs sagging under the weight of blossom. Our common hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium) is standing seven feet tall in places with flower-heads the size of dinner plates.

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Nettle bed safari

If you look closely enough, you can see that the nettles are beginning to flower. If you look even closer you will find a whole miniature ecosystem living in the nettle bed: sap suckers, nectar feeders, predators and terrifying creatures that hunt the predators.

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Chris Seymour’s pictures of the park’s common spotted orchids.

Dog roses (Rosa canina) are in flower in the park’s hedges. We are promised good weekend weather so come and see.

The first common spotted orchid of the year, photographed by Ian Bushell. Send in your own orchid photographs to friendsofscp@outlook.com and we will publish them all.


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Pink hawthorn

In the middle of the park, the hawthorn blossom is pink; not uniformly pink but definitely pink in places. It seems to be confined to the hedges at the bottom end of Sleepers Field right through to the hedge at the top of the little triangular field that doesn’t have a name. It’s very pretty.

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