Exciting news for the Arable Plant Group!
Weasel’s Snout – Misopates orontium
Friday 12th July and the Arable Plant Group were out and about at Langley Vale Wood for the second of their summer training days, honing their plant identification skills. It was a lovely sunny day and after some initial talk about the plant list and looking at the maps the group headed out to a margin where they have not had great success surveying before because its been quite overgrown in previous years. However, this year maybe due to the ploughing and the recent heavy rain after a dry spring, combined with grazing animals they started to have some great finds as soon as they entered the field.
The shout went up, “what’s this?” The experts in the group immediately said Weasel’s Snout! Well it’s a first for Langley Vale and just goes to show that the management team are doing something right if these little gems are growing here. Its not been recorded at the site before. It has an IAPA (Important Arable Plant Area) score of seven as defined by Plantlife which means it’s pretty rare and makes Langley Vale of International importance as far as arable plants are concerned.
So why the strange name? Well, of course, its only when you get down to detail and start looking with an eye glass that you see a long nosed face looking at you at the seadhead stage of growth. So many of these old arable plants and wild flowers have lovely common names and I hope its going to make it easier for the group to remember in future, as we add yet another name, to the ever growing list of rare plants at Langley Vale Wood in the open spaces we are working so hard to protect.
Article written by Tish Johnson, Lead Volunteer at Langley Vale Wood