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Mark (Out and About in Thetford)

It’s always interesting at this time of year to see what comes up.

In the last few weeks as I go round the town I’ve spotted the masses of small white flowers of Danish scurvy-grass by the sides of the main A134 Bury Road – it’s a saltmarsh plant, but wherever roads are treated with salt in the winter in can thrive far inland.

Opposite Nunnery Drive on Nun’s Bridges Road is a patch of Spring Beauty, a weird-looking plant with white flowers apparently growing out of the middle of its leaves.

White is definitely the theme for this month: down at Nun’s Bridges there is an avenue of Plane trees, and next to them are patches of the bright green leaves of Garlic Mustard, or Jack-by-the-hedge as it is also known, also with small white flowers. This is the foodplant of the Orange tip butterfly, now on the wing.

Also nearby is a whitebeam tree, whose fresh young leaves with the white undersides give the tree its name.

Walk across the footbridge towards Ford Meadow and you can still just about see the mass of frothy flowers of bird cherry which are now going over.

A massive trunk has fallen here, but a line of ‘mini-trees’ takes its place!

But there’s also blue flowers about: masses of ground-ivy – no relation to ivy – carpet the earth in some sandy places.

And there are escaped forget-me-knots in places, notably coating the ramparts in Castle Park.

Now I just need to find some red flowers to complete a patriotic celebration of the 75th anniversary of VE-day – any ideas?

Mark Webster, Countryside & Planning Officer, Thetford Town Council.