The seedlings of the cornfield annuals sown along the path beside the Heritage Viewpoint, mostly Poppies and Corn Marigold, have survived the January frosts and are growing strongly in the recent warm weather. They will flower later, but nestling among them can be seen the bright pink flowers of Red Dead-nettle. This is an annual that was not part of the seed mix, but has germinated from seed already in the soil.
It is a valuable flower for some of the smaller bumblebees as they emerge from hibernation, and its appearance is timely as you will probably already have seen queen bumblebees that are now flying in response to this exceptionally warm February. This earlier photo shows a queen Early Bumblebee with its face covered in pollen from these flowers.
On the wildflower bank below Crow Wood, its larger cousin, White Dead-nettle, is now also beginning to flower. This is a perennial and is even more important for queen bumblebees. With our management of this area it now has an extensive presence on the bank and elsewhere along the paths in the woods.
Also to be seen are the bright blue flowers of Germander Speedwell, both in the bank above the Heritage Viewpoint seat and at the edge of The Triangle.
The Snowdrops may now be fading, but the start of spring colour has begun.