Walltown wildlife

I'm not a Naturalist, I have a great interest in natural history and I enjoy nature watching but I'm not privy to the finite differences between some of the species of plant or animal, and I'm getting worse at remembering the names.

So today I'm simply bringing you some pictures from a two hour ramble around Walltown Quarry.
(see bottom of the Blog for a link to a PDF of Walltown Quarry area)

As the name suggests this area was once quarried for stone but now it forms part of the Hadrian's Wall Trail, a pit stop for walkers or a picnic spot for day visitors and locals alike.

The Northumberland National Parks Authority look after it and great areas of wild flower meadow sway with grasses and wildflowers, buzzing with insects.

There are bog areas, dry areas, ponds, woodland areas and mown grass, ducks nest by the ponds and swallows swoop for insects, they're already onto their second brood of the season and can be seen swooping into their nests by the toilets. Plently of car parking space and even refreshments available.

My photographs show just some of the flowers and insects and my apologies for the names, it's not my strong point and I hope that it will whet the appetite of true naturalists to come and check the place out for yourselves.

Pictures today are smaller than usual because there are more of them.

One of the gems of Walltown, a Bee Orchid. This is the first year I have seen them there but I found at least 4 plants in different spots and it's awash with other orchids so maybe I've just not noticed them before.

Common Blue Butterfly a beautiful splash of colour amongst the grasses

Common Blue with wings open.

One of the smaller Darter's, they whirl around your head as you pass by, later the big Dragonfly's will emerge with a real clattering or wings when they fly.
Amazing insects to watch they change posistion in the blink of an eye.

Hawksbeard,  insects seeme to be drawn to these open bright yellow flowers.

Common Centuary

Latticed Heath Moth, so striking you might mistake it for a butterfly

Prunella vulgaris

Ragged Robin

Ringlet Butterfly, I counted 75 of these on this ne visit to the site

Small Heath Butterfly

Small Skipper butterfly

Small Skipper butterfly, although they are as fast as all the other butterflies they don't seem to mind you getting quite close to them for photographs and generally chose a nice spot to pose.


St John's Wort

Flower of the Twayblade Orchid, something you could easily pass by and not notice, but they're worth a second look

Twayblade Orchid

Twayblade orchid blends so well with the surrounding grasses.

Birds Foot Trefoil, always humming with insects

Simple Buttercup, a full field of them look amazing

It's been a great year for Orchids at Walltown with the various types flowering from late May onwards
I imagine we have all of the Northern Orchids represented

Orchid, not only a variety of colours and form but sized from mere inches to 3ft tall

A white version of the Orchid

Deeper pink Orchid with distinctive markings on the lower lip

What meadow land would be complete without clover, and both pink and white can be found in the park.
Bees love the nectar rich flower.

So, I hope you managed to get this far, lots more things to see and record I've merely skimmed the surface  to give you a little taster, please come and see for yourself, it's a wheelchair friendly area.

A leaflet, with map, from Northumberland National Parks Authority as a PDF for you to print off linked below here

All photographs used in this blog are copyright of Joan Thirlaway and cannot be used without written permission

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