Sunday 17 June 2018

Burnt at Knocking Hoe

My first ever Burnt Orchids were shown to me by Bedfordshire Orchid Legend and all-round awesome bloke Graham Bellamy, back in 2003, at a lovely little National Nature Reserve nestled on the edge of the Chilterns. Knocking Hoe is a super spot and hosts a decent colony of Burnt Orchids among other cool plants. It was 15 years since I last visited, so having had a walk round Pegsdon Hills and Hoo Bit across the way (top BCN Wildlife Trust nature reserves), I crossed the road and walked north to see if I could find the site.

Looking northwest across Knocking Hoe.

I headed round to the chalky knoll and soon found a lovely Burnt Orchid among a diverse range of wildflowers and grasses. The feathery seed heads of Pasque Flower nearby were nice to see.

Round the other side of the hoe, an exclosure to keep out the grazers held the majority of the orchid colony, with probably 100 spikes present. A few escapees poked up here and there. The range of colours was impressive, some very dark and others with virtually unmarked, white petals. Really gorgeous little flowers and my favourite orchid species. Massive thanks to Graham and his gang for looking after this special place and its special orchids.


 Three Burnt Orchids showing the variation in colour.

Burnt Orchids in the sward.

Knocking Hoe. A superb spot.

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