The Bisley and Pirbright Ranges below Chobham Ridges has many natural springs, which are the main source of the stream that runs through Folly Bog, and on into the Windle Brook.
Thought you might like to know that even though there’s been no rain for weeks, the stream through the bog continues to flow, naturally, not as vigourously as when in rainy weather.
The native wild orchids in our heathland are much appreciated by me, and most probably all those who walk on the track that bounds the Pirbright and Bisley ranges in Lightwater.
To see how much their arrival consumes my mind, type orchids in the search box at the top of the page, or see HERE.
I anticipate their arrival by looking closely at the sides of the heathland track for signs of their coming. This year, not unexpectedly following our harsh winter, they’ve arrived late. I looked for them towards the end of May, and saw little sign of them. I visited the area of the track where they’re to be found and was rewarded by the sudden flourishing. The early marsh orchids that grow in Folly Bog are far fewer in number this year. I will visit again to check on them, and report back here.
All I await now is the arrival of the Bee Orchid, which sadly didn’t appear last year.
Here’s an essential source if you’ve a botanical bent about knowing the plants in the dry and wet heathland and bogs in our area
This document has helped me to identify the two kinds of Sundew in Folly Bog, and some of the other plants, such as the Bog Asphodel.
Living close to the heathland and Folly Bog means I regularly investigate the flora. At the end of April, during a dry spell, I looked for evidence of orchids, and found the leaves emerging of just one. It was only yesterday that I got a chance to visit the heathland tracks and Folly Bog again for evidence of orchids.
Some success, I found a few early marsh orchids in Folly Bog, while also just a few heath spotted orchids alongside the edge of the heathland track. The flowering season for these wild orchids begins in May, and is best in June , July and August. Therefore I’d expected to see orchids, perhaps not in full bloom, but certainly showing signs of growth. I didn’t see many signs of orchids. I wonder if the cold weather earlier in the year has delayed their appearance.
I’ll just have to return to the bog and track side to check on their arrival – hopefully abundant as in previous years. In 2016 and 2017 they were plenty of orchids in bloom at the end of May. To learn of my travails in identifying orchids, type orchids into the search box. There’s plenty to read.
Thought you might like to see what I found. Later, I’ll draw a map of the area to show the best places to see the different flora.
Being reasonable weather on Wednesday this week I ventured out on a longish heathland walk.
I walked down into Folly Bog from the track alongside Red Road. Actually, I pushed my way through the gorse and heather, and surprisingly found the ground firm underfoot. So, I had a good wander round. There’s nothing much to report, the Bog Asphodel has died down, and the sundews were nowhere to be seen, just grasses, sedge, mosses, and lichens.
As a challenge, I’ve often tried to cross the bog, and have never succeeded, even in dry summer. I’m sure it must’ve have been possible in the not to distant past, as there’s remnants of half-buried tarmac, not much, but some. There are also a few rusting steel plates, which you can see in my photo.
Two things to report from my walk in our local heathland this week.
The Surrey Wildlife Trust Ranger for Brentmoor Heath and Folly Bog has provided notes on autumn in the heathland, in which it states that Belted Galloway Cattle have returned to munch invasive plants.
Below are my photos of the Rangers’s notes, posted on the kissing gates into the heathland, and the cattle munching purple moor grass. [Click on photos to expand]
I say that I was bloodied in re-opening the path to Folly Bog. I massively overstate the amount of blood, it was a couple of small pricks from the gorse that drew blood.
A couple of days ago, here, I said secateurs were needed to regain access to Folly Bog. Yesterday I took secateurs and a pair of thick gloves to the task to re-opening the path. The gloves are worn out in a couple of fingers, hence pricks from the gorse drawing blood.
I’ll report of what I found down in Folly Bog in a later article. Meanwhile, here are the photos on before and after. Re-opening the path isn’t the answer to the meaning of life, I’m just happy to be able to visit the bog again.