South-east Yorkshire, v.c. 61: News

News > 2016

Bulbous canary-grass, Phalaris aquatica

Grasses are not everyone's cup-of-tea but Bulbous canary-grass might be to those desiring a psychedelic experience. Its leaves and seeds contain a cocktail of hallucinogenic tryptamine analogues and I emphasise that there is no causative relationship between my specimen and what I have to say about local records!
In my news report of finds in TA22U, dated 25 November, I commented on finding this grass in an adjacent tetrad to an existing record (TA22Z). For some reason I had it in mind then that the TA22Z find was a 'still there' record for an older find that was the first record for vc61, and that the recent TA22U find was a new and second vc61 record. I have been niggled by the fact that I could not find the voucher specimen for the first record, being sure that I had not smoked it. However, while looking for something else in the turmoil of my office before Christmas I found my voucher specimen, confirmed by Mr Bruno Ryves at Kew, in December 1997. This is labelled as being found 'Near Roos Bog, TA22U etc.' This is the dot in the Atlas and is the first vc61 record.
Once established in a locale this alien grass appears to persist and I am wondering why we are not seeing more of it. Time for tea.

Peter Cook, 31 December 2016

SE53Z - Kelfield update

Galinsoga While exploring the parish allotments in Kelfield we were struck by two apparently different Galinsogas growing together. Not wishing to be too hasty with this variable Genus, I brought specimens of each home to ripen the seedhead for a definitive determination. The above image shows a head (minus seeds) of each type. Sample A has simple strap-like scales and sample B has broader tri-lobed scales. This confirms our field identification of Galinsoga quadriradiata for A (shorter, glandular-hairy plants) and G. parviflora for B (taller, almost glabrous plants).

Richard Middleton, 13 October, 2016

SE53Z - Kelfield

Spotted Medick We enjoyed fine weather for our Local Group, end of season, trip to one of the furthest outposts of the vice-county. Despite the fact that many of the plants, particularly along the Ouse flood-bank, were by now unidentifiable, we did clock up an impressive 180 taxa. Among the star finds were Medicago arabica (above), Oenanthe crocata and Galinsoga quadriradiata. There had been much environmental "improvement" in the area and some of the more interesting plants found may have been introductions - Glebionis segetum, Centaurea cyanus, Rosa rubiginosa, &c."
It would be nice to think that we had added 180 atlas spots but as "Z" is the only vc61 tetrad in the otherwise vc64 hectad it seems rather unlikely!

Richard Middleton, 29 September 2016

SE73R - Spaldington

An unexpectedly green area for the time of year with plenty of ditches and secluded ponds and an abundance of arable weeds. Mostly heavy clay soil. The best finds were: Marsh orchids, Purple-loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), Common Spike-rush (Eleocharis palustris), Galingale (Cyperus longus), Soft Downy-rose (Rosa mollis), Dwarf Mallow (Malva neglecta), Chicory (Cichorium intybus), Black Horehound (Ballota nigra) and Marsh Cudweed (Gnaphalium uliginosum).

[This visit has boosted SE73 to 203 taxa and added about 25 atlas spots. RM]

Gabrielle Jarvis & John Killingbeck, 31 August 2016

SE73I - Aughton Common

Four members and friends attended this meeting, on one of the hottest days of the year, to record in one of the few remaining, unexamined, selected tetrads. Access was rather restricted in this arable part of the Derwent valley, but a small stream and pond on the edge of a golf-course and a section of disused railway produced a creditable total of over 150 taxa. The star find was John Killingbeck's chance re-discovery of Hairy Buttercup (Ranunculus sardous), last recorded here in 1985. A single plant of Pepper-saxifrage (Silaum silaus) was also found on the verge of the busy B1228.

The expedition did demonstrate that the strategy of concentrating our recording in selected tetrads for the last three seasons has worked, as only 18 new taxa were discovered for the hectad.

TA31J - Top-up

Stone Parsley This tetrad currently has a wide variety of broad habitats including fore-, mid- and upper saltmarsh, relict sand dune, coastal dry grassland, arable field margins, fresh water ditches, brackish pools and swamp. There are Natura 2000, SSSI and two Local Wildlife Site designations on land soon to be consumed within the Welwick to Skeffling coastal defence realignment and habitat creation scheme. On recent 'covert special operations' in the area I have collected a further 44 species to add to the existing 164 post 2000 list, and have noted 'hot spots'. The most significant and satisfying find was a ca. 10 m x 1m ribbon of Stone Parsley (Sison amomum) plants approximately 100 m away from a site that was obliterated in the development of the Outstrays habitat creation scheme more than 10 years ago. It is not particularly photogenic but each white flower head is an umbel. A leaf is shown in the top left corner. See the RPR for status.

Peter J Cook, 3 August 2016

Epilobium montanum x E. roseum hybrids

Epilobium flowers Scale indication - 'stem' width = 1 mm

Eva Crackles once said of my garden that the only significant plant I have is Epilobium roseum. Until recently this record was one of the few earning it a listing in the Rare Plant Register for vc61. A few recent records have elevated its status to scarce, but I still look after it, leaving it to flourish and fruit alongside E. montanum. E. roseum (1) has a club-shaped stigma whereas E. montaum (4) has a perfectly-formed '+' stigma (reflected down and to the left). This year I have found a vigorous E. montanum-like plant bearing flowers with grotesque club-shaped stigmas with 2-4 very small projections (3). Another plant (2) has almost blue flowers and club-shaped stigmas. I believe 3 is the F1 progeny of E. montanum x E. roseum (= E. x mutabile) and that 2 is this hybrid backcrossed with 1, retaining the blue pigment evident in the pink of E. montanum. There is also evidence of hybridity in the distribution of long spreading glandular and eglandular hairs, but my photographic skills do not go this far.

Peter J Cook, 25 July 2016

SE93T - Walkington Wold

Only 2 footpaths, neither of which produced much; mainly road verges, hedgerows and field edges. A piece of set-aside land was the most productive of arable weeds including Small Toadflax and Field Pennycress and lots of Scarlet Pimpernel. A bank verge on a minor road had Rockrose, Salad Burnet and Hoary Plantain. A long stretch of very minor road had hedges full of Dog Rose. The best (surprising?) find was Brookweed in a damp meadow on a steeply-rising bank, otherwise very predictable.
[Total for this selected tetrad raised from 1 to 136! - RM]

Gabrielle Jarvis, 13 July 2016

TA41H - Kilnsea Warren Top-up

This is just a narrow sliver of land of less than half a monad with estuary to the West and sea to the East. Although small in area it has a remarkable variety of microhabitats ranging from salt-marsh, marram and grey dune, enriched tall herb community, semi-improved grassland, soft sea cliff communities, hawthorn and sea buckthorn scrub and, predominantly, synanthropic ruderal vegetation around recently demolished buildings of the old Spurn Bird Observatory. Such is the complexity that it took 2 hours to botanise in which time a list of 129 taxa was recorded. 14 of 34 taxa on the existing post-2000 list were not re- found so the current total is 143 taxa. Surprisingly this is considerably richer than some whole tetrads we have seen but the quality is poor with a large number of banal ruderal species. Given planning permission most of this area will be 'de-concretized' and re-wilded so this may be the last comprehensive survey of a historically very abused part of Spurn

Peter J Cook, 6 July 2016

SE97E - Yeddingham Ings

In a short-notice visit to this distant tetrad a depleted band of BSBI members managed to raise its status to "red". We managed to record a paltry 88 taxa in this untouched tetrad, the main reasons being difficult access and industrial farming. Although the tetrad had seemed to be well served with a network of footpaths, the only existence of many was on the OS map. The highlight was Silene noctiflora where a couple of plants had managed to survive in a field corner. The effort only added six atlas spots to SE97.

Undaunted, we then recorded the vc61 half of the Yeddingham village monad, collecting 103 records and scoring an additional 15 atlas spots for SE87.

Richard Middleton, 6 July 2016

TA07B - Foxholes (upgraded)

Buck's-horn Plantain With only a single taxon recorded from this selected tetrad it hardly even deseved it's red spot on the map. A three hour recording visit this morning managed to add a further 137 taxa. This is not a lot but it seems to be about par for these very arable Wolds tetrads. A few nice chalk grassland species were hanging-on along one good, but overgrown, verge to the west of the village but most things were mundane. Nevertheless nine new plants were added to the hectad total, incuding a typical inland halophytic community of Buck's-horn Plantain Plantago coronopus, Lesser Sea-spurrey Spergularia marina and Reflexed Saltmarsh-grass Puccinellia distans. The photo above was taken in the parish chalk pit which has been used at some time, presumably, for storing road salt.

Richard Middleton, 30 June 2016

TA13P - Skirlaugh

A large pond and marshy ditch hidden in a rough grass field provided some interesting habitat on the coldest, wettest, darkest, windiest June 1st I've ever experienced. Ranunculus aquatilis and Persicaria amphibia were common on deeper water while swampy margins had Equisetum palustre , Glyceria fluitans , Eleocharis palustris and Solanum dulcamara . A swampy ditch taking overflow from the pond contained Epilobium palustre , Cardamine pratense , Lotus pedunculatus and both Carex disticha and C. hirta . An admirable score of 98 taxa was recorded on a 2 Ha site and the approach route.


Peter Cook, 1 June 2016

TA21U - Sunk Island Top-up

This tetrad is more than 90% arable prairie crossed via strips of tarmac. The only 'available' space is the churchyard and, usually, highly manicured road verges and ditch banks. This Spring I have kerb-crawled, loitered and looked suspicious wading in ditch bottoms adding 39 taxa to top up the existing composite list to a respectable and final 122.


Peter Cook, 1 June 2016

TA22U - Roos Windfarm site

Atlas 2000 records for TA22U were for Roos Bog only and there have been no further records for the tetrad since. On September 13th I had an opportunity to ride round the Roos wind turbine site where there are new link roads and lots of areas of disturbed soil gradually maturing back to 'natural' grassland. I had only one chance to stop, to check the identity of a very tall (ca 1.5 m) culm of a grass which turned out to be Bulbous canary-grass Phalaris aquatica. There is a record for this in adjacent TA22Z. With chicory this is probably a remnant from field margin bird feed mixes. Riding along the edge of a deep ditch enabled sight of a few emergent aquatic/riparian species. The list of 137 species adds little to inspire one to revisit the area, in any case, 'out-of-bounds' to the public.

Peter J Cook, 25 November 2016

SE87Q - Settrington Beacon

An elevated, predominantly arable tetrad, with some fairly average north-facing chalk grassland slopes, ponds and streamsides, also plantation woodland, managed for pheasants (in fact we almost blundered into a shoot). The woodland was the most productive - it was light and not overgrown. Best finds: Sanicle, Wild Basil, Black Horehound and Wild Pansy. Quirkier: a thicket of Juniper planted beside the road in the SW corner of the tetrad, Milk and Cotton Thistles growing wild outside a farm wall.
[Tetrad total boosted to 160 with 38 atlas spots. RM]

Gabrielle Jarvis & John Killingbeck, 19 October2016

SE62Z - Barmby-on-the-Marsh

At first glance an unremarkable arable tetrad beside the confluence of the Derwent and the Ouse. A fair number of aquatic marginals along the Derwent, but not in abundance. The Ouse banks were steep, slippery and hard to access but we did find Hemlock water-dropwort and Sea Aster. Sedges were found near a dried up pond. In the village pockets of interest in odd corners and back lanes. Old walls yielded a selection of ferns: Polypody, Maidenhair Spleenwort, Male Fern and Hart's-tongue. Oddest find was perhaps a vine growing wild.
[This useful recording visit boosted the selected tetrad total to 220. RM]

Gabrielle Jarvis & John Killingbeck, 12 October2016

SE96M - Sledmere Castle
SE96D - Kirby Grindalythe

Elecampane Not our finest hour; circumstances conspired to prevent our survey of the intended tetrad and a considered re-grouping was made in Kirby Grindalythe - another selected tetrad in SE96. This new tetrad had a previous, modest, total of 107 taxa and our efforts increased this by a further 50 with 16 new hectad records. Among the more interesting finds were Green Field-speedwell (Veronica agrestis) and flowering plants of Bulbous Buttercup (Ranunculus bulbosus) in a small dissused quarry and a huge specimen of Elecampane (Inula helenium) - pictured - in a roadside hedge.

Richard Middleton, 7 September 2016

A walk on the wild side

Apple-of-Peru After a couple of lack-lustre hours examining TA1330 - Preston Road, Hull, I was temped onto a derelict site on the corner of Marfleet Lane. A large area of housing had been demolished and the ground levelled with a light, gritty material. The dominant plants seemed to be Chenopodiums both album and rubrum but sprinkled in with this was a strange mixture of aliens including the rather striking Nicandra physalodes (Apple-of-Peru, above). Other interesting plants were the bird-seed grasses Setaria viridis, Echinochloa crus-galli and Phalaris canariensis. Plenty of stray tomatoes (hinting at the origins of this association?) but also Ranunculus sceleratus, Rumex conglomeratus and Rorippa palustris!

Richard Middleton, 18 August 2016

Rediscovered ...

Rustyback It's always good to meet up with old friends. The above picture was taken this morning while surveying TA0731. It shows a plants of Rustyback (Asplenium ceterach) growing on a garden wall near the cremetorium. I first discovered the fern on the same wall 16 years ago and it remained the only vc61 site for several years until the wall was "cleaned". Over the last decade I have made repeated visits to no avail but today there were four young plants so it's now officially back on the vc list!

Richard Middleton, 3 August 2016

SE73Y - Arglam

Mainly arable fields and a small plantation. We were confined to verges, ditches, field corners etc. The sandy nature of the area was reflected in the list. The best finds were Bromus secalinus and Pimpinella major.

[This recording visit boosted the selected tetrad total from 33 to 186. 17 new atlas spots were generated. RM]

Gabrielle Jarvis & John Killingbeck, 27 July 2016

Veronicas

Veronica capsules Over the last decade I have made very few records of either Veronica agrestis or V. polita and have often worried that I am grouping all weedy Speedwells as V. persica. I was very pleased yesterday to find a plant of V. polita on Auckland Avenue, Hull. Determined to make a careful comparison I brought a sample home and searched my garden in vain for V. persica to compare it against. On the plus side I found did find V. agrestis! (The parish allotments provided my persica). Above is a photograph of a seed capsule from each.

I offer the following observations -
V. persica - flower large, sky-blue and white; pedicels longer than leaf; capsule halves divergent with large spreading bracts and long persistent style.
V. agrestis - flowers smaller and pale; pedicel shorter than leaf; capsule halves parallel with large spreading bracts.
V. polita - flowers small, bright blue; pedicels shorter than leaf; capsule halves parallel with smaller clasping bracts.

Richard Middleton, 26 July 2016

A persistent alien ...

Salsify Yesterday, while out surveying an urban monad (TA0829) for the Hull Nats' atlas programme, I came across a single plant of Salsify (Tragopogon porrifolius) in a car park just off Spring Bank. The taxon has been known from this area for almost two decades but, so far as I am aware, it remains its only vc61 station.
Other interesting finds along Argyle Street included Clustered Dock (Rumex conglomeratus) and Creeping Soft-grass (Holcus mollis).

Richard Middleton, 24 July 2016

Water Bent - A new(ish) species for vc61

Polypogon viridis

While walking to the local shop on 24 June I paused to examine a grass growing out of the cracks in concrete under a garden gate not far from my front door. I believe this to be the first time Polypogon viridis has been recorded in vc61 and I am surprised to find that it has spread so extensively northwards since Atlas 2000 [map]. It now occurs in adjacent vice counties and from most of the hectads in NE Lincolnshire.

I'm now kicking myself because I saw grass like this growing on gravel at Middle Nurseries in Preston (TA13) several years ago and dismissed it. I therefore suspect that this grass has been with us for some time. Keep your eyes open for an Agrostis-like grass with loose but not inflated sheaths, wide (ca 5-8 mm) leaves and a dense, much-contracted panicle. It grows in wet, ruderal, wasteland habitats, cracks in pavements and on rubble. For this alone its occurrence here in Withernsea is not surprising!

(Critical photographers should appreciate how I have used shadow to illustrate the density of the panicle and width of the leaf - otherwise the photograph is useless).

Peter J Cook, 25 June 2016

SE96Y and SE96Z - Langtoft

A total of 119 taxa were recorded in non-target tetrad SE96Y to the West of Langtoft and on the roadside verge on 9th June. Hairy Rock-cress, Common Milkwort and Dropwort were good finds. Fewer taxa (75) were recorded in SE96Z, another non-target tetrad, on the same day. These included Yellow-wort and Heath Speedwell.

Peter J Cook, 10 June 2016

SE86Y - Duggleby

Fair weather persisted long enough to enable five Local Group stalwarts tackle one of the last 6 remaining target tetrads with ease. Set in open rolling chalk upland landscape this tetrad was found better than most for available uncultivated space and for aquatic habitat with a 'gipsey race' chalk stream and a large fish pond. A steep-sided dale was inaccessible but we were able to rack up an impressive total of 157 taxa from broad uncut road verges and hedgerows. The Wolds are notably devoid of water bodies so records for Ranunculus trichophyllus, Berula erecta, Veronica anagallis aquatica and Glyceria notata were exceptionally good. The Blue Water-speedwell stood out as an exceptionally vigorous plant with lilac corolla. The hybrid V. x lackschewitzii was suspected but key characters swayed the identification to V. anagallis-aquatica. There was some evidence of historical sexual congress with V. catenata but not enough to ascribe the hybrid. Sown grassy crop margins contained vigorous Perennial Rye-grass and Fescue variants including the hybrid X Festulolium loliaceum as well as the robust Lotus corniculatus var. sativus.

Peter J Cook, 15 June 2016

In Brief

Humber foreshore - TA02C

A recording visit by Gabrielle Jarvis on 23 July has increased the total for this selected tetrad from 23 to a very respectable 170.


Stamford Bridge - SE75C

A combination of urban, woodland, disused railway line/nature trail and riparian sites produced a good list. Field edges and minor road verges mainly disappointing. Best finds Small toadflax and the aquatic plants.
[Tetrad total raised from 16 to 223 with over 60 new atlas spots!]

Gabrielle Jarvis & John Killingbeck, 20 July 2016

Folkton - TA07P

On a journey to Scarborough I took the opportunity to take a look at the villages of Flixton and Folkton. An hour-or-so poking about in the 30° heat raised the tetrad total to 119. Nothing special other than an infestation of Torilis nodosa in a well-mown lawn.

Richard Middleton, 19 July 2016

Slender Soft-brome

Slender Soft-brome Bromus lepidus was not uncommon before 2000. It was usually found among rye-grasses on grassy farm tracks. I have not recorded any since Atlas 2000 but found it on 15 July on the bare soil at the perimeter of a crop of wheat at TA308301 (TA33A). It is very much like an impoverished B. hordeaceus with glabrous spikelets occurring mainly in ones (to 3) on a pedicel. The sure diagnostic feature is the awn arising from the base of the wide sinus in the tip of the lemma. I'll carry a sample in the car for your delight at our next meeting.

Peter Cook, 19 July 2016

Hornsea Freeport

The coach and overspill car park at Hornsea Freeport (TA14Y) provided a grand total of 89 taxa on a wide range of synthetic habitats. A low bank of sand dividing parking spaces on which Filago minima and Aira caryophyllea were once known is now grassed over.

Peter Cook, 14 July 2016

The botanical value of ant mounds

I urge readers to always look at ant mounds in old grassland for they are well-drained micro-heaths. On a recent visit a cluster of ant mounds provided records of four species not seen anywhere else on the site.

In many years of botanizing I have found the following plants, often as the only one on the mound: Fern-grass, Sweet Vernal-grass, Tor-grass, Crested Hair-grass, Squirreltail Fescue, Restharrow, Thyme-leaved Sandwort, Early Forget-me-not, Sticky Mouse-ear, Parsley-piert, Hop-Trefoil and Stork's-bill.

Peter Cook, 28 June 2016

Gromwell Galore

On 24 June I passed a ca. 10-acre field in tetrad TA32G, East of Patrington, sown with Lithospermum arvense. Field Gromwell is being grown now as an alternative to fish as a source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. I think we should keep a record of sites where these 'new' crops have been sown to help future interpretation of sudden re-appearances.

Peter Cook, 25 June 2016

Upgraded selected tetrads

Records submitted by Rohan Lewis have pushed totals above 100 for two of the Wolds' selected tetrads - SE95J and SE96D.

19 May 2016

Botanical training

A series of three botanical training courses have been organised for this summer by the Hagge Wood Trust at Escrick. See their website for more details.


SE92E - Ellerker Ings

An unremarkable but unvisited selected tetrad; four hours hard work for 108 mundane taxa. The hectad total was boosted a little and now stands at about 393.

Richard Middleton, 9 May 2016

Watsonia 1960 to 2000 set (not checked). Free. Also, Eva Crackles' Flora. New, but no map overlays. £10. Collection/delivery by arrangement. Ring Peter 01964 614466.


TA22S - Ottringham North

It is MOT test time again and a list of 91 species accrued on a stroll up Station Road to the disused station area and back again. Contributions to the hectad TA22 total are expected to be few. Silver leafed Archangel Lamiastrum galeobdolon subsp. argentatum was observed spreading under a hedge well beyond a garden boundary.

Peter Cook, 5 May 2016

TA12S - Paull Holme

A recording visit to this selected tetrad by Bill and Janet Dolling has raised its total to 156 species.

30 April 2016

Danish Scurveygrass

Cochlearia danica is currently bountiful along our salted road verge strips. Make a note of where you see it on your travels. A patch here in Withernsea constitutes a first Hectad TA32 record!

Peter Cook, 28 April 2016

Goldilocks in Hull

Goldilocks Buttercup I was extremely pleased yesterday afternoon to discover a colony of Goldilocks Buttercup Ranunculus auricomus growing in a patch of relict woodland adjoining Saltshouse Road, Hull. There is a spot shown for TA13G in Crackles' 1990 Flora but I have been unable to determine whether it relates to this locality. How long the plants have been there and whether it was deliberately introduced I do not know but I can remember gathering Bluebells at the same spot sixty years ago!

Richard Middleton, 17 May 2016

Geranium rotundifolium

Geranium rotundifolium

Gabrielle has discovered another unusual plant for the region - Round-leaved Crane's-bill Geranium rotundifolium. It was growing with other "weedy" species in a Hull street. It is generally a more southern plant but, quite by chance, Peter was speculating last week that it may be an under-recorded plant that we should be looking more carefully for. It has a distinctly round leaf, barely notched petals and is quite liberally covered with red-tipped glandular hairs.

9 May 2015

TA31J - Welwick Bushes

Valerianella locusta dunensis A recording visit to Welwick Bushes, primarily to look for lichens, was rewarded with some interesting new additions to the post 2000 list for this tetrad. Most remarkable was the second vc61 site for Valerianella locusta subsp. dunensis (D. E. Allen) Sell. This was first recorded by me at Chalk Bank, Spurn, (confirmed D E Allen) in March 1995. As the photo shows, against a 5p piece, it is a diminutive plant with only a few leaves and a head of flowers above the sand. Close-by was Sea Pearlwort Sagina maritima and a second site for Galium verum subsp. maritimum, first recorded last year (See Notes for 2015). In total, 9 taxa were recorded raising the tetrad total to 162. A thorough search for Lesser Chickweed Stellaria pallida, which is known to occur at this site, was unsuccessful at this visit.

Peter J Cook, 3 May 2015

Strange fern ...

I recently found the pictured fern on a Hull garden wall. So far it has defied all attempts to give it a name. Could it be one of the rare Asplenium hybrids? More news will be posted as it becomes available.

Richard Middleton, 28 April 2016

Plants of Hull

Rue-leaved Saxifrage

The Hull Natural History Society are currently repeating a 1km resolution survey of the area around the city, last made for the Millennium over 15 years ago. One of the more interesting discoveries has been made by Gabrielle Jarvis - Saxifraga tridactylites (Rue-leaved Saxifrage), classified as Regionally Scarce in the vc61 Rare Plant Register, at the side of Livingstone Road, Hessle.


25 April 2016

SE75W - Yapham

Cup funcus

On our first meeting of the season we welcomed two participants from York University who made up the group to eight pairs of eyes scouring a tetrad with no post-2000 records. Prior study of the OS map indicated potential for arable, semi-improved grassland (pasture and road verge), hedgerow, wet woodland, chalk stream and urban ruderal habitats with easy access to all. A small patch of wet woodland in Meltonby yielded an extensive list of ground layer species many of which had already been found under hedgerows and grass verges elsewhere in the tetrad, notably Dog's Mercury, Sweet Violet, Primrose, Ramsons, Wild Arum and Bluebell. We also found Dewberry Rubus caesius growing along the bank of a shallow ditch and were delighted to find Goldilocks Buttercup growing very abundantly in road verge grassland together with Cowslip and Ground Ivy. The score for the day was a very respectable 148 of which 31 species were new hectad records raising the total to 312.


We also stopped to look at a bee fly, liverworts on the bank of the chalk stream, a river limpet and a cup fungus, possibly Helvella acetabulum (above), all contributing to an interesting day out.


We noted several arable fields that had recently been sprayed with herbicide. I am informed that some farmers that are severely affected by black grass are leaving affected fields fallow over Winter and early Spring to allow black grass to germinate and then 'burn off' all growth with a non-selective herbicide before sowing peas, beans or a grass ley.


Peter Cook, 15 April 2016