Cumbria Crack

Flower of Cumberland blooming on fell farms

Grass of Parnassus, the flower of Cumberland is blooming on fell farms. Credit National Trust

A stunning flower that appears, three times, on the flag of Cumberland has been blooming across Lakeland farms this summer thanks to farmers adjusting their stock grazing regimes.

The Grass-of-Parnassus is a pretty, bright white cup-shaped flower with green veins. Once widely distributed, it is now confined to damp upland pastures in the north of the UK including the fells of the Lake District. It flowers in late summer alongside the purple of Devil’s-bit scabious.

Wildlife experts, from conservation charity the National Trust, say because of the careful management of grazing by Trust tenants the mires, flushes and wet grasslands have been full of wildflower blooms over the summer.

As John Hooson, the National Trust’s North West Wildlife Adviser explained: “This is a welcome addition to the many beautiful wildflowers that have brightened up the Lake District fells this summer. Action by National Trust tenants is working well, and the exceptional growing conditions of this spring and summer, has encouraged the flower to bloom in profusion. We have seen a rich mix of plants from heath spotted orchids earlier in summer to the Grass of Parnassus and Devil’s-bit scabious in late summer across Dale End Farm in Little Langdale and at Tilberthwaite Farm near Coniston.”

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