.Suddenly many plants along the paths have opened bright yellow flowers, and I have been asked what the plant is.
The answer is Melilot or Sweet Clover, a plant that was introduced to the UK many years ago from Southern Europe as a fodder crop, and it was quite popular in the fifteenth century. It has now become established on disturbed ground.
The plant contains coumarin which, if the plants becomes mouldy, turns to warfarin - a usefull drug for blood clots and heart disease and a rat poison, but not great if fed to farm animals.
It is related to clover, and as with all that group of plants, is an excellent nectar plant for bees. Linguists will have noticed that the first part of the name - mel - means honey and this is because it is good for honey bees. We have seen lots of bees this week on the plants growing along the cycle track to the Clarences.
For the geeks there are two very similar species (and also a white flowered species we is also on the reserve). I think this one is Melilotus officinalis, common or ribbed melilot, but they are easier to identify when they have ripe seeds. And for those who like to think of battles against rats, sorry, warfarin gets its name from the Wisconsin Alumni Reseach Foundation who did the reaserch into cattle that became ill after eating mouldy sweet clover.