Reports of two meetings in August are now available. The first meeting was held at Middle Hope, the limestone ridge at the north end of Sand Bay, which as you can see was showing the effects of the hot and dry weather. Targets that were re-found included Henbane (Hyoscyamus niger) and Cheddar Pink (Dianthus gratianopolitanus). The second meeting started at Backwell Lake, and continued via the railway station along the Nailsea Round footpath. Copse Bindweed (Fallopia dumetorum) was found at its only known site in Somerset.
Our map which shows the number of records for each monad (Ordnance Survey 1km grid square) since the year 2000 has been updated. A second map shows the number of different species/subspecies for each monad. You can find them under the Activities>Recording section. There is also an introduction to recording there which explains how recording is carried out by members across the county.
There have been a few changes to the last few meetings of the year, mainly in the contacts and leaders but please note that the last meeting of the year is now a week earlier. See here for the details.
Diligent searching in the south and west of the county (VC5) has led to the rediscovery of two plants previously thought to be lost (just mislaid as it turns out). Simon Leach (Joint VCR for VC5) found a single plant of Early Gentian (Gentianella amarella subsp. anglica) at Thurlbear Wood, the first VC5 sighting since 2006, which he was delighted to be able to show members of Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society during their recent field meeting. Despite a thorough search during the meeting, only the one tiny plant was found, but it may be worth looking again at this time of year. Meanwhile, Ian Green, co-author of The Atlas Flora of Somerset, rediscovered Mountain Pansy (Viola lutea) on Exmoor, not seen since 1999. A photo of this species adorns the cover of the flora so it is brilliant news that it is not lost after all. The Rare Plant Register has been updated accordingly.
The SRPG newsletter for 2021 has now been published. It follows a standard format with the chairman’s review, reports on all our meetings last year, a number of reports on projects we have carried out and other botanical subjects, and a summary of interesting plant records in our two vice-counties. Many thanks to our new newsletter editor Karen Andrews.
A corrected recording card aligned with Stace Edition 4 is now available here. This replaces the one issued in August 2021. The new cards have also been printed on yellow card and can be obtained from Helena Crouch.
This month we have five new species accounts in the Rare Plant Register. These are all plants that are near threatened across England but are fortunately not defined as rare or scarce in Somerset. They are: Marsh Pennywort (Hydrocotyle vulgaris), Marsh St John’s-wort (Hypericum elodes), Ragged-robin (Silene flos-cuculi), Heath Speedwell (Veronica officinalis), and Marsh Speedwell (Veronica scutellata).
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