This year the Spring feels very normal, with things appearing at about the right times and no big surprises. We have been finding about the same number of orchids as last year, with slightly more on the western slopes than the southern ones. This follows the trend since the 2 very dry winters/springs that we suffered a few years ago where many southern plants were killed off by drought.
We have just 1 Lady orchid flowering this year and it has just started opening its flowers and 1 hybrid opened about the same time from its sheltered position outside the fence in the hedge.
Currently the gate is closed but I will hopefully be going up on Sunday (EDIT: now delayed until Monday) to lay out the marker tapes and after that the gate will be opened to allow visitors onto the slope from the lower field.
In addition to the orchids there have been sightings of Grizzled & Dingy Skippers and I bet there are also Green Hairstreaks out too, along the hedges. If you can catch a moment when the sun is out you should be lucky. They are also plenty of beeflies, cowslips, hairy violets and a few Pasque flowers over in field 4. The Pasques have been in flower for a few weeks and are being eaten by the rabbits quite badly this year but they are worth going to look at.