It’s nature’s way of saying thank you

Autumn gentian growing at Torness
Autumn gentian growing at Torness

I hate to mention the A word, but this is Autumn Gentian, a low growing plant of wild and natural places, writes George Hogg (Hogg Estate Services).

This specimen is one of several I recently found growing at Torness.

We also have the only site I know of in the Lothians for Common Broomrape, and only the second known site in East Lothian for Pyramid Orchid, a plant which is rare to Scotland.

Over the years I have also found several other wild plants of scarce or limited local status on the estate.

It always amazes me to look at the old aerial photographs of the site during the construction stage of the power station.

Bare earth and rubble lay in every direction.

To see the way it has returned to nature over the years is quite remarkable.

Mind you, the estates department and myself have worked tirelessly to ensure this is the case.

My surveys of botany and insects across the estate are carried out to measure and monitor the effects our continual habitat management work is having.

The good thing about working with nature is watching the way it responds.

For example, all three of the locally rare wildflowers, mentioned above, found there own way to Torness.

While the Autumn Gentian can be found across the country, it is mostly found in southern England.

Provide the correct habitats and species will arrive unassisted and unannounced.

It is always very rewarding to discover them. A sort of natural thank you.

So if all this talk of botany has got you interested, it has never been easier to develop an interest in wild plants.

A very simple way is to photograph plants and post them on the iSpot Nature website where various experts from the online community will help name the plant for you.