Field meeting at Valerie’s Bank, Hollingbourne

On 26th June, The Field Club visited Valerie’s Bank, a small area of chalk grassland just to the east of Hollingbourne Downs. It proved to be an exceptionally flower-rich site with plenty of typical chalk species, including Horseshoe Vetch, Autumn Gentian, Squinancywort and Crested Hair-grass, together with a population of some hundreds of Chalk Fragrant Orchids. Most of the invertebrates collected still await identification, but notable finds on the day included Stripe-winged Grasshopper and an unexpected Heath Bumblebee. An excellent site that certainly deserves further visits, and which, despite being just 8 acres in area, kept five of us happily occupied for a good four hours.