In spring, some of the first flowers to be seen are violets and cowslips. From May onwards, there is a succession of low growing plants typical of chalk grassland including the common rock rose, horseshoe vetch, wild thyme, milkwort and eyebright.

Clustered bellflower

As the summer progresses, lady’s bedstraw forms a background to the mauve, purple and blue of knapweeds, small scabious, field scabious, clustered bellflowers and harebells together with salad burnet, dropwort, restharrow, ploughman’s-spikenard and cat-mint. Greater knapweed may be accompanied by its parasite, knapweed broomrape and the semi-parasitic yellow rattle is locally common. Large patches of starry white squinancywort can also be seen. Here and there you will find bright pink sainfoin and an occasional pyramidal orchid.

Greater knapweed

Also on Fleam Dyke, between the A11 and Bedford Gap are nine juniper bushes, the only examples of our native juniper, Juniperus communis, which remain in East Anglia. Some small seedlings, the first for many years, are in protective guards and two plantations of cuttings near the A11 are well established.

Download lists of plant species here.

For a gallery of flowers to be found on the Fleam Dyke and Roman Road, click here

Juniper on Fleam Dyke