I imagine that Croydon’s nearby Hutchinson Bank is better known and more frequently visited than these chalky slopes of Chapel Bank. But today I find it’s worth going the extra distance even with the alarming traffic of Featherbed Lane.
On a sunny autumn morning I hunt for plants still in flower. In the sparser vegetation I’m delighted to find the distinctive flower head of a Carline Thistle (Carlina Vulgaris) which while not uncommon is new for me. It’s around 3cm across and still has a number of florets but it would be hard to tell if it is still in flower or not. I read that the flowering heads can persist from year to the next.