Tuesday, 2 September 2014

devils bit scabious meadow

One of those stop-you-in-your-tracks moments last week as we were driving through the village of Colwell, nr Malvern.
It had been a lightning visit to Slad nr. Stroud in Gloucestershire to walk part of the Laurie Lee way with Pauline and Derek.
On the way back, we were driving through beautiful Herefordshire countryside when we entered the village of Colwell. Wow. Suddenly, an amazing sea of purple shone out at us, completely unexpected. What appeared to be common land with a field of lavender turned out, on closer inspection, to be a meadow of gorgeous, native, devils bit scabious.
The more common field scabious is a lovely, late summer flower of verges and grassland in quiet corners of our home county of Nottinghamshire. Its cousin,  devils bit scabious has a deeper purple, pompom flower head. We have only seen it occurring in wetter conditions and then singly or in small groups of plants. When seen en masse as we saw it at Colwell, it is simply stunning.
Much can be invested by local communities in statuary to give an area an identity. Much more powerful is what nature can achieve.
Congratulations to the villagers who have overseen this quiet floral equivalent of the Angel of the North.

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