Saturday, June 13, 2009

New Buckenham Common

I just can’t help myself! Each daisy and dandelion is a miracle , but I’ll still make the pilgrimage to New Buckenham Common to see the green-winged orchids! These flashy flowers also grow on the limestone hills of Galilee. I sometimes wonder if these were the flowers of the field Jesus spoke of who’s natural beauty far outstripped King Solomon’s designer label elegance. Conspicuous consumption on clothing and cosmetics are a near necessity for many who gauge their worth against the ever shifting orthodoxies of fashion. The orchid remains a fragile yet unchanging thing of beauty. Its scientific name is Anacampcis Morio, morio from the Greek for fool. The flower is said to resemble fools cap. Contemplating beauty and foolishness, I recall the well known phrase or saying, “if the hat fits wear it!”

Green-winged orchids maybe the stars of the show, there is also a full supporting cast on New Buckenham Common: buttercups, cuckoo flowers, meadow sweet, cowslip, meadow saxifrage – even the names are poetry. In the early summer whitethroats and blackcaps sing from the bushes. In and around the ponds, hidden from sight, great crested newts go about their business.

If you were coming by car you could park just outside the village of New Buckenham Turning left off the Norwich Road you’d easily find the car park by the swings. When you continue along this bye road you eventually come to a closed gate blocking your way, turn onto the common here and walk around the bushes and you’ll be close to the main populations of green – winged orchids

I suppose one aspect of our consideration for the flowers means that we ought to make our journeys with a minimum carbon footprint. Sadly, the buses from anywhere to New Buckenham are a dead loss. So maybe there’s a case of getting on ones bike.

That green-winged orchids grow in such profusion on New Buckenham Common is due to the consideration the Norfolk Wildlife Trust lavishes on them. The great thing is they, and other conservation organisations will have a reserve close to where you live where you’ll be able to enjoy all the wild-flowers without too much travelling. You can check them out on the Trust’s website or in their Reserves Handbook available either on line, or from one of the staffed reserves visitors’ centres, or by post from:
Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Bewick House, 22 Thorpe Road, Norwich. NR1 1RY Telephone 01603 625540

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