is one of the great medieval dyes.
As well as a beautiful array of wildflowers, several contain rare plants such as pepper-saxifrage and dyer's greenweed
Here you can also see hairy greenweed
in its most northerly location in Britain.
To keep shrubs compact, cut all stems of beautyberry, bluebeard, butterfly bush, dyer's greenweed
(Genista tinctoria), rubber rabbitbrush, and snakeweed (Gutierrezia sarothrae) to within a few inches of the ground before they leaf out.
The abundant plant life includes agrimony, Dyer's greenweed
, St John's wort, adder's-tongue fern, cowslip and common twayblade, as well as early purple orchid, common spotted orchid, bee orchid, and greater butterfly orchid, which occur in glades in the scrub.
At the eastern end of the dene is one of the finest meadows in County Durham, with more than 40 plant species per square metre, including fairy flax, quaking grass, and dyers greenweed
, which attract large numbers of butterflies and is best seen in July and August.
Heath and common spotted orchids (inset), dyer's greenweed
and meadow thistle are among the 150 grasses and flowers that are facing extinction which flourish in the protected meadow.