Blooming marvellous

Sea thrift in bloom - Credit Elliot NeepSea thrift in bloom - Credit Elliot Neep

Red, yellow, cream and dazzling white blooms turn the floodplains of the Vale of York into vibrant tapestries of colour, whilst the chalky backbone of the Wolds and the clifftops of Flamborough delight budding botanists with their pink orchid gems in early summer.

WHERE ARE THE BEST PLACES TO SEE WILDFLOWER DISPLAYS?

During April and May, enjoy an walk through the bluebell-carpeted woodland with the pungent smell of wild garlic in the air at Millington Woods.

Don't miss out on a late June visit to YWT Wheldrake Ings, where for centuries the floodplain meadows at  have been managed in a traditional way in harmony with the natural cycle of the seasons. As a result, the floral displays of this now rare type of meadow are simply spectacular, with great burnet, meadowsweet, meadow vetchling and ox-eye daisies all adding to the riot of colour in late June.

Late June or July sees the grasslands of the Yorkshire Wolds come into their own, with amazing shows of pyramidal and common spotted orchids amongst chalk loving flowers like common twayblade, bird's foot-trefoil and clustered bellflower. Watch marbled white, common blue and other butterflies drifting between the flowers at YWT Kiplingcotes near Market Weighton. Listen to skylarks signing high overhead the impressive orchid displays of the clifftops at YWT Flamborough Cliffs.

WANT TO IMPROVE YOUR FLOWER IDENTIFICATION SKILLS?

Wildlife tour operators Yorkshire Coast Nature run day long botany courses every year which are suited to beginners and those wishing to improve their botany skills alike. Take a look at their website for details of upcoming tours and courses.