LAKELAND-based artist Marianne Birkby has returned to Rydal Hall with an exhibition of new paintings all inspired by the diversity of flora on the Cumbrian fells.

Acclaimed Marianne's Flora of the Fells - Original Paintings, includes oils, charcoals and pastels and on show at Rydal Hall’s Old Tea Room Shop through July until August. The Tea Room is open daily from 10am-5pm.

Marianne says that included in the paintings is an iconic flower that is the symbol of Cumbria: "It is featured on the official flag of Cumbria with three white flowers. The flowers are the Grass of Parnassus and once seen they are unforgettable with an exotic look to them. The charity Plantlife describe them as "a flower of cold beauty and a symbol of the wilderness and wet."

Marianne explains that the flowers are not as widespread as they used to be, preferring high boggy and open fellsides and flowering in late summer through to early autumn: "I have seen them myself in only two places in all my walks on the high fells."