Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Dartford Pinks

The largest of the (small number of) Deptford Pink sites is nearer Dartford than Deptford, where it has probably never been seen, and certainly nearer West Kingsdown than its eastern cousin.

I'd been told where they might be found so, passing by, I made a short detour. Within 200 yards of the car, I saw a lovely cerise blob in the hedgerow, then another, so that was a good result. Eventually I counted 12 plants and thought "if that's the largest colony, this plant's in trouble".
A little further along the path, there were another two, then a bit further another group of 12. Pressing on, just around the next corner, some more..... then..... I lost count. I started estimating in tens and reached about 300, with more clearly pushing through.
Now that's what I call a population - sprinkled along a hedgerow by a path, where the disturbance they need is given on a regular basis. The crop in the field looks strong and healthy, but is kept about 10' away to avoid spray-blow.

Bizarrely, the roar of the nearby M25 is ever-present, yet they seem to thriving.
The bad news is that, now I know it's the Pink season, I'll have to flog my way around Sandwich Bay looking for an elusive population there. Probably hidden under the marquees being put up for the Open next month.

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