Country diary: the dog rose rambles over our common places

Country diary: the dog rose rambles over our common places

Wenlock Edge, Shropshire: This field all wet with rain is a rare wonder, as it slowly becomes a wood of hawthorn and sallow

After rain, the world is a rose. In each water droplet, the world is a rose. Rain fell on the railway line and a field that had a hill like a tumulus of overburden from the limestone quarry. Now the hill has gone and so has the railway, and the field is almost gone too. It is becoming a wood of hawthorn and sallow.

On this day, soaked to the knee, there are more orchids than you could shake a stick at – common spotted, pyramidal, southern marsh and bee. There is more bird’s-foot trefoil, self-heal, ground ivy, centaury, yellow-wort, common vetch; more kinds of meadow grass, bromes, oat grasses, more sedge and rush than surrounding fields because this sod is sodden, undrained, uncultivated, ungrazed, unmowed and largely – due to brambly encroachments – unvisited.

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