Some are, however, tiny and difficult to find, but not as difficult as providing conditions suitable for its growth. To encourage these tiny plants, the farm manager (on behalf of the charity Plantlife) sows low-density crops to allow space between them, and of course shuns fertilisers, insecticides and herbicides. The result is a sparse crop on poor soil that would struggle to feed a family, but that allows the rare plants to flourish.
Stinking Mayweed, above, and the optimistically-named Venus' Looking Glass, below
- the latter is very small and bears little resemblance to its romantic name.
Broad-leaved Cudweed is a particular success on this site, and has spread rapidly across the field where conditions have been favourable for it - it's very rare elsewhere in the country.
Naturally the sensitive farming methods are attractive to bugs - I think the beetle is a female Thick-Kneed, but I'll avoid trying to identify the moth. [Thanks to Greg for correcting me - it's a Spanish Fly apparently]
A lovely place - an island in our intensively-farmed countryside, but clearly illustrative of how poor crops would be on the chalk downs without constant improvement.