26 August, 2016

Maritime flowers

Visitors to Skokholm during high summer would have a hard time overlooking the array of wildflowers that carpet the cliff tops. At this time of year Sea Mayweed and Ragwort dominate at ground level much to the delight of pollinating insects. 

A species of bee in the Colletes genus enjoying Sea Mayweed - a particularly hard genus to identify to species level.

 Ragwort is a common sight on the cliff tops, as are the Cinnabar caterpillars that feed on the plant

Back in 2014, Golden-rod was abundant across Skokholm's grassland, with Ragwort growing in only very low densities. In the past couple of years the tides have changed. Population of Golden-rod seems to have crashed and now only isolated clumps still thrive around the farm and on The Neck, whilst Ragwort is everywhere.


A whole host of smaller plants add to the cliff-top colour spectrum at this time of year.

Creating a carpet of pink across the island's coastline in early-summer, by August only a few Thrift plants remain in flower


Field Pansy and Scarlet Pimpernel cope well with the arid conditions of Skokholm's rabbit-grazed dry grassland

Bog Pimpernel grows amongst Marsh Pennywort in the wetter flushes and streams

No comments: