Sunday, 12 September 2010

Wildflowers and the river Darwen

These are just a few wildflower pics that I've gathered in my photo files over the last few months. Most have been spotted whilst walking through Witton park and Pleasington nature reserve, one of the paths leads you to this railway bridge which is built over the river Darwen. The Darwen rises on the moors between Bolton and Darwen at a spot called Cranberry Moss, (Freethy 1988 p.133), bet there aren't any cranberries now. I never been there but would like to go check it out sometime. Years ago this was a vibrant clean river with brown trout, salmon and otter, sadly the old textile industries used it as a dumping ground for dyes heavily polluting the waters and surrounding land. The Fielden family who were very influential and wealthy lived alongside the river indeed they once owned Witton park in 1742. William Fielden decided to move away to Scarborough but could not sell their grand house on the banks of the river Darwen. Unfortunately his decision to sue the Board of Health over the severe pollution was unsuccessful. It subsequently fell into ruin and is still there to see today. I've tried to climb down to the ruin to take a photo of this once beautiful property but it is really boggy and there is still a lot of dumped garbage down there which makes it quite treacherous under foot. Information from the River Ribble by (Dr Ron Freethy 1988).
This lovely flower is the marsh cinquefoil: Gaelic name Coig- bhileach usige or Marsh five finger and is related to the wild strawberry. I think there is a discernible resemblance

Sneezewort what a great name

Yarrow: Achillea Millefolium also known as "devils nettle" or "devils plaything". Love all the folklore surrounding herbs and wildflowers. Apparently yarrow was dedicated to Satan and widely used in charms and spells. Supposedly Druids used the plant to ward off evil spirits

A type of cranesbill, common here in Pleasington but such a nice simple flower. Love the colour on this.


  1. Yea, I love the common names of wildflowers, and the stories surrounding them too.
    Didn't know the story about Yarrow; interesting.
    They say the devil has the best music; seems he has some great flowers too lol

  2. Great post. I love finding out about the history of places. Love the sneezewort what a fantastic name!

  3. Beautiful wildflowers, the last is my favorite color. Wonderful photos. BTW, I love your header shot!

  4. What an enchanting place! In North America everything is just so new - which is why we get so excited about places that are only a few hundred years old. But in Europe, really living alongside history as you do must make you feel much more connected to the land and the people who were there before.

  5. Isn't that sad about the river? The picture of it is beautiful, though. The flowers are wonderful and that cinquefoil really does look like a strawberry. We have yarrow here but it's yellow. I love it.