A hot day on the Folkestone Downs and the late spider orchids are up on the edge of the grassland; they are confined to a small fenced area just above the footpath, presumably to stop them being trampled by livestock or passers-by inadvertently squashing them while admiring the view. The spiders are rare in the UK with just a handful of small colonies in East Kent; they are literally hanging on. Just down the slope are equally exotic but much more widespread bee orchids. Adonis blue butterflies are here too but never stop still, however, wall browns land on the path of baked mud where they are constantly disturbed by the procession of weekend walkers. An adder is out on the edge of the scrub but quickly slides away when disturbed. In mid June, the downs are in full flow.
Inland, down the winding lanes at Park Gate Down, there is the rarest collection of orchids: flies, fragrants, more common spotteds, twayblades, butterflies and a single lady, along with the monkeys. Others here look in vain for the tiny musk orchids; the slow walk along well-trodden narrow paths becomes a treasure hunt without a map.