A day in the North Downs, Kent, 24 May 2015

On our way down to Folkestone to catch the chunnel to France we engineered an extra day to visit a few sites in the lovely North Downs in Kent. The main aim was to see some orchids I'd not seen for a number of years.

First port of call was Denge Wood which contains the small reserve of Bonsai Bank. Here there were hundreds of superb Lady Orchids (far more than I ever saw here in the past) a few 'going over' Early Purple Orchids, numerous Common Twayblade and probably best of all a small handful of Duke of Burgundys showing very nicely.

Next up was a little woodland reserve of Yocklett's Bank where my target Fly Orchids were surprisingly easily found right by the path. I counted c20 spikes.

Before the rain set in we had time to visit Park Gate Down where despite there being none in the spot I remember from the past we eventually found c40 Monkey Orchid plants, mostly in the 2nd meadow. Plenty of Early Purple Orchids and Common Twayblades here too.

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