Yellow Rattle

69°F, 20°C, 10.25 a.m.: At the lower end of the walled garden at Nostell Priory there are two squares of wild flower meadow. Amongst the grasses, buttercups and dog daisies there are small drifts of yellow rattle, Rhinanthus minor, a plant that is semi-parasitic on the roots of grasses. Despite a superficial resemblance, it isn’t related […]


Upper lake, Nostell Priory: The seed capsules of bladdernut contain hard seeds that have been used as beads. Bladdernut, Staphylea pinnata, is a deciduous shrub or small tree, native to central and southern Europe and Turkey. It was introduced to Britain in the 16th century. Bumble bees Catmint and geraniums are attracting bumble bees in the walled garden at Nostell Priory.


We start our walk around Semerwater at the hamlet of Stalling Busk. The former school is now the village hall and next door a former garage is the tasting room for Raydale Preserves. Primroses are fading away but hawthorn blossom is still at its most luxuriant. Northern marsh orchids, ragged robin and yellow rattle grow […]


Nethergill Farm, 1.10 p.m.: Cumulus clouds are towering over Langstrothdale and the thunderstorms that the forecast suggested were a possibility would now be welcome as even here in the shade of the old barn the temperature is climbing into the high seventies Fahrenheit, 25 C. A cuckoo is calling on the far side of the […]