Six eager botanists met at the Boat Inn car park to explore the delights of the picturesque Don Gorge which lies on the Magnesian Limestone Belt to the West of Doncaster.
The group proceeded up the footpath opposite the Boat Inn towards Cooke's Bower where Blackstonia perfoliata (Yellow Wort), Bryonia diocica (White Bryony) and Mahonia aquifolium (Oregon Grape) along with Campanula trachelium (Nettle-leaved Bellflower), Anacamptis pyramidalis (Pyramidal Orchid and White Form ) and a fine stand of ten Platanthera chlorantha (Greater Butterfly Orchid) were observed.
After lunch the group crossed Nursery Lane onto the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust reserve. The Orchid count was increased with Dactylorhiza fuchsii (Common Spotted Orchid), D. praetermissa (Southern Marsh Orchid), Neottia ovata (Common Twayblade), N. nidus-avis (Birds-nest Orchid) and Ophrys apifera (Bee Orchid) added to the list. The day finished early but not before ninety four species were recorded and quite possibly double that number if the weather hadn't turned bad.
Images Mel & Elaine Linney.