Ably lead by Terry Coen, the Knole Walking Group clocked up a further nine miles this month walking across the chalk hills between Shoreham and Eynsford then back along a section of the splendid Darent Valley Path. The walk offered fine views of the Darent Valley and signs of Spring were everywhere.
Along the path above Shoreham were lovely patches of Sweet Violet (Viola odurata), many of which had a lovely fragrance, and a few plants of the white variety (Viola dumetorum – if you spot it has a purple spur) - For Violet lovers you could also spot the Common Violet (Viola riviniana). This violet has no fragrance and can be identified by the notch on the flower spur that the Sweet Violet does not have.
This spring had been an excellent year so far for wild flowers with many varieties flowering early. Why not take a walk for some exercise during this time of self-isolation and see what plants you can spot. Look out for Wood Anemone, Lesser Stitchwort, Dogs Mercury and Wild Strawberry and the Violets of course. There are even patches of the humble Cow Parsley coming into flower by hedge banks.
Lady's smock (Cardamine pratensis)