Ask Robert Edmondson anything about plants and butterflies and he’s in his element. He led a small group of u3a members across Ranmore Common to experience the blueness of bluebells shielding beneath the trees. The flower is dedicated to England’s patron saint St George, and around half the world’s bluebells grow in the UK.
But we discovered a lot more besides: common spotted orchids, cowslips growing on the chalk grass, hemlock, wood anemone, wild garlic and yellow archangel shimmering in the sunlight.
We even spotted a small clump of herb-robert, so-named by the botanist who discovered it as an insult to a friend he knew!
Robert even showed us how by rubbing a nettle the wrong way you can avoid being stung. His enthusiasm is infectious and his engaging stories about the local area and wildlife make for entertaining walks.