Its June, its hot and we headed off to an old Limestone Quarry (now a Nature Reserve) to try and discover some wild Orchids amongst other wildflowers. A Limestone Quarry may sound like an unlikely location. Once prosperous and productive it was abandoned in 1930. Since then nature has reclaimed the site.
The rocky quarry floor is inhospitable to many plants and grasses, but others thrive, lack of competition gives others a chance to star.
Several varieties of Wild Orchid can be found here….. at the right time. The end of June, we guessed would probably be about the right cyclical time. But guesses don’t always work out. We were perhaps about 2/3 weeks too early for the best. Still, it was fun searching amongst all the other herbs and limestone loving flowers and we did find a few.
The Bee Orchid is very diminutive and hides itself well….
and easy to see why it is named after a Bee…
Searching carefully and you fine more Orchid’s, little beacons of purple and white in a sea of green…
Our Orchid hunt was a small diversion from a longer walk in the Derbyshire White Peak District an area rich in Limestone, Rivers and Dales..
Always a beautiful area, today tranquil, but once very industrialised. Our walk starts on the old abandoned railway line, now a walking and cycling trail. Reminders of the areas are easily found. A rather incongruous concrete construction is an old Lime Kiln that was used to process the limestone from the quarry we explored for Orchids.. its products could be loaded straight onto waiting goods wagons on the railway, a railway, believe it or not, that was once a main route from the industrial Lancashire north down to London.
Our walk started at one of the old Stations, along the old trackway, across a few bridges over a winding river in the Dales below…
I did mention that it was a hot day, so the real destination was Wyedale and it crystal clear waters. Idyllic for a cooling walk along paths overgrown with lush summer vegetation, buzzing with birds, butterflies and insects. Come the winter or periods of heavy rains and this valley becomes less hospitable with surging water’s… not a worry today…
The end of the walk is the reward of discovering a rather special country church hidden behind tall trees on the top of the ridge…
A very distinctive tower and spire, is the special feature of St, Margaret’s, the Parish Church of Wormhill.
It was a stimulating walk, but with the heat, one we were glad to complete, with a reward of an Ice Cream back at the old Railways Station.
It is the weekend again, soon be Monday.. so relax if you can and….
Please Remember ….
Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other
(C) David Oakes 2022