The Plough meadow
Thanks to Dave Hunter (the previous tenant) and Nicole Palmer(the current tenant), part of the meadow adjoining The Plough that is not needed for camping and events is being managed for wild flowers. This meadow is a wonderful example of a disappearing habitat.
June and July are the best months for flowers in these meadows.
In June the common spotted orchids are in full flower and there are many colourful members of the pea family: meadow vetchling with its cluster of pale yellow flowers; tufted vetch with its long heads of purple-blue flowers; bird’s-foot-trefoil, or eggs-and-bacon, with deep red buds that open as bright orange flowers; grass vetchling, which looks like a grass until it its single bright crimson pea-flower appears, and red clover.
Other flowers that are easy to spot are the purple, thistle-like flowers of common knapweed, oxeye daisies, the starry-like tiny white lesser stitchwort and the numerous yellow, dandelion-like but more delicate common cat’s-ear. And on a sunny day there are many insects to delight us, bees and butterflies especially.
The most beautiful species of grass here is the quaking or totter grass. It is not common away from the Downs but there are some extensive patches in this meadow and it is easy to spot with its shining, drooping, flower spikelets that tremble in the breeze. This graceful grass is often dried for winter decoration and, indeed, a larger cultivated relative is often grown as a garden plant.