Wildflower Wonderland in East Devon

The 70-acre Goren Farm, tucked in the rolling East Devon countryside, is home to some lovely flower-rich meadows. In collaboration with the National Garden Scheme the farm is open to the public with the proceeds going to charity. Paths cut through the meadows allow you to wander through the fields, enjoying the wildflowers, wildlife and views. And once you’ve explored the meadows stop off at the farmhouse for Devon cream tea or a piece of delicious homemade cake.

Later in the year the fields are harvested for wildflower seed which are available direct from the farm; find out more at https://www.goren.co.uk.

This series of images are from a recent visit at the end of May 2021.

Wildflowers on the table at Goren Farm

Yellow Rattle

Yellow Rattle (Rhinanthus minor) – is often known as “the meadow-maker” or “nature’s lawnmower”; the plant suppresses the growth of grasses which allows other meadow plants to thrive. The name comes from the rattling sound of the seeds in the capsules et the end of the flowering season.

Common Spotted Orchid

Common spotted-orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsia) – the flowers, which are densely packed in short, cone-shaped clusters, range from purple through to pale pink or white and have distinctive darker spots and stripes on their three-lobed lips. This, the most common UK orchid, has slightly scented flowers, however, they do not produce nectar and the plant is pollinated by a variety of insects.

Bird’s-foot-trefoil

Bird’s-foot-trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) – a common plant of grassland and a member of the pea family with a cluster of small, yellow slipper-like flowers; the seed pods look like birds feet or claws, hence the name. Bird’s-foot-trefoil is an important food plant for the caterpillars of the common blue butterfly.

Cuckooflower

Cuckooflower or Lady’s Smock (Cardamine pratensis) – pale pink or lilac flowers veined with darker violet, important plant for caterpillars of the orange-tip and green-veined white butterfly. Richard Mabey hints that the flower is a good indicator of hearing the first cuckoo.

Red Campion

Red Campion (Silene dioica) – five red or pink petals, each deeply notched and almost divided into two; its leaves and stems are hairy. The scientific name ‘Silene’, refers to Silenus – the god of the woodlands in Greek mythology, whilst ‘dioica’, means ‘two houses’, and refers to the fact that each plant has either all male or all female flowers only.

Meadow Buttercup

Meadow buttercup (Ranunculus acris) – is different to the creeping buttercup that spreads through runners. The beautiful bright yellow-cupped flowers are a typical childhood favourite – if a yellow reflection appears when you hold the flower under your chin it is considered as a sign that the person likes butter!

Rough Hawkbit

Rough Hawkbit (Leontodon hispidus) – is a wildflower of grassland, hay meadows and road verges. The yellow, dandelion-like, flowers stand atop long leafless single stems.

Red Clover

Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) – with pink-red rounded flower heads is not as common as its white relation. Like other clovers, the leaves of Red clover have the familiar trefoil shape with three green leaflets each bearing a white V-shaped marking.

A walk over Golden Cap

Enjoy spectacular views from the Golden Cap – highest point on Britain’s southern coastline; the name comes from the warm yellow sandstone that caps the top of the cliff.

From this lofty location at 191m (627ft) the views stretch out along the Jurassic Coast – to the east along Chesil Beach to the tip of Portland Bill and to the west you can see round the bay past Charmouth and Lyme Regis to Start Point; inland you can see Pilsdon Pen.

Looking east To Chideock and beyond

From Langdon Hill National Trust Car Park head south on a level track along the side of Langdon Hill with views east over Chideock. At the southern end fork left and follow the signed path down through the tree. Continue through a couple of fields and then follow the South West Coast Path (SWCP) via some steps up to the top of Golden Cap (Trig Point).

Looking east along the Jurassic coastline from Golden Cap

Head west still following the SWCP as it zig-zags steeply down to a gate. Here fork right (north-westwards) down across the field (the SWCP forks left heading west) to reach the ruins of St Gabriel’s Chapel.

The view west from Golden Cap to Charmouth and Lyme Regis

Follow the track to some thatched cottages that are all that’s left of the village of Stanton St Gabriel and shortly turn right along a path, soon passing St Gabriel’s Wood following a stream.; keeping right at a path junction on the way.

Continue through a field up to Filcombe Farm, cross the track and continue straight on through the next field.

A view west to Stonebarrow Hill

At the top edge go through a gate and continue through the trees heading north and then continue along the level track round the northern edge of Langdon hill back to the car park.