Spring is in full bloom! The countryside awash with the pretty colours of flowers in all shapes and sizes! But what are they, and where is the best place to see them? A wildflower wander is fun, free and a great way to spark in interest nature beyond bugs and beasts!
What you will need
No special equipment is required for finding and identifying wildflowers. An ID guide would be very helpful to name species, these can be downloaded as simple ID sheets here. Another great way to ID flowers is using an app on your phone. These are inexpensive, and some even have functions like automatic recognition! You can find the app here.
Woodlands, meadows and heaths can be magical places often boasting numerous pretty species in various colours and shapes. For the more adventurous, mountainous areas or moorland are also worth a visit.
If you are looking in parks and gardens, remember that many species will have been planted or introduced. Farm fields are not the best place to find wildflowers however, hedgerows and verges can be amazing places to look, but take care if you are close to roads!
Nature reserves are one of the best places to look as often they have dedicated areas designed to encourage wildflower growth and there may be a helpful warden on site to give you a hand identifying species.
Create your own wildflower garden – Do you have an area of garden that you could turn into your very own wildflower meadow? Wildflowers tend to prefer soil with low nutrient levels, so poor quality ground is actually better! Most garden centres sell packets of wildflower seeds with a number of species in.
Flower pressing – Using a flower press is a great way to preserve some of the flowers that you see on your wander. Whilst you can by proper flower presses, placing them between the pages of a book with a heavy weight on top for a few weeks will do exactly the same job. Why not make a collage of colourful flowers or save some to decorate birthday cards.
Can I pick flowers?
It is illegal to uproot flowers in the UK and some rare species are afforded special protection (you would be unlikely to find these anyway). However, picking a few daisies or dandelions is unlikely to impact on the global population and as long as you are considerate it is unlikely to raise any eyebrows.
If unsure – Take only photographs, leave only footprints 😊