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Today I went out with a group from the Scottish Wildlife Trust to Renton in Dunbartonshire to explore the area for flora and fauna around the Carmen Reservoir. The day started bright and sunny, but as the train arrived at Renton railway station at 10.35, it had turned cloudy and a little cold.
Walk leader, David, was very knowledgeable on plants and wildlife and during the walk he pointed out many thing of interest which I would have missed if I had been walking by myself. The soil around Renton has an underlying stratum of calcium carbonate and this is a suitable environment for orchids to grow.
|Common Spotted Orchid|
Common Spotted Orchid
There were a large number of Common Spotted Orchids seen throughout the walk- there are one of over 50 wild orchid species in Britain. The close-up view of the petals below shows the pattern in greater detail.
|Close-up of Common Spotted Orchid|
Another plant which David pointed out was Sneezewart. This plant has medicinal uses and the leaves can be eaten raw or cooked to treat a variety of medical conditions. The leaf is chewed to relieve toothache. The dried, powdered leaves can be used as a sneezing powder and as an insect repellent.
Another plant which can be used for medicinal purposes, Red clover, was also seen on the walk. This can be used to treat conditions such as whooping cough, respiratory problems and skin inflammations. It is also thought it helps to purify the blood by helping the body to get rid of excess fluid.
Whorled Caraway Yarrow
This flower favours a westerly location and is found in west Scotland, Cornwall, south west Wales and south west Ireland. It favours damp conditions – the area around Renton is quite boggy in places and is a rare flower.
|Whorled Caraway Yarrow|
|Six Spot Burnet Moth|