Somerset Stoneworts

Stoneworts, or Charophytes, are structurally complex green algae which thrive in relatively unpolluted freshwater habitats. Nick Stewart, BSBI’s Charophyte referee, has put together a register of the 15 species occurring in Somerset, see the Rare Plant Register menu. The ditches of the Levels are the main area of interest in Somerset, which hold the largest UK populations of Great Tassel Stonewort (Tolypella prolifera).

An excellent written introduction to the group and their habitat needs is available in Nick’s report on Important Stonewort Areas for Plantlife. There are also links to presentations and an identification key on the BSBI Charophyte page and a Stonewort Identification video on the BSBI Aquatic Plants Project page.

Further accounts of coastal rarities

Another five accounts of Somerset coastal specialists have been added to the Rare Plant Register: Honckenya peploides (Sea Sandwort), Herniaria glabra (Smooth Rupturewort), Trifolium squamosum (Sea Clover), Trifolium suffocatum (Suffocated Clover), and Phleum arenarium (Sand Cat’s-tail).

One more month for Mistletoe

The leaves will be on the trees soon; good news in most ways, but it means that mistletoe recording doesn’t have much longer to go. So far we’ve had over one thousand records, in spite of the restrictions in place, and the map is an impressive sight. Inevitably there are isolated places that not even SRPG members can reach, but if you think that there may be old records unchecked near you, Linda and I would be happy to check on your behalf. Val has prepared a map of past records to make this easier .

Photographs CLo 16/02/2021

Website changes

As you can see there have been some changes. We hope that overall this will be a simpler layout of the pages and menus, which won’t require too many further changes to include new content. The “front page” will contain the latest news and announcements like this one. The mistletoe and first flowering sections are now under Activities > Projects. If you can’t find something use the search (magnifying glass) option on the top right of each page or contact the website manager.

Newsletter published

The 2020 newsletter is now available on the newsletters page. To quote Dee, “It was pretty epic so I made two files. Part 1 is Reports, Part 2 is Articles. Hoping people will be able to find their way around it!”. Many thanks to Dee for her hard work in producing this record of the year of lockdown and to all the members who contributed.

Moving on from the AGM

Somehow or other my message didn’t make it to the AGM, but since I wrote it I may as well put it in here.

” I’d just like to say that starting up and running the SRPG website has been a great opportunity to learn a lot, and to get to know some interesting people. It wouldn’t have happened without technical input from Tony Price at SERC. So I’d like to thank him and all members for giving me that opportunity, particularly the lovely committee.

It is time for fresh challenges for me now. It is good to know that Val taking over is going to raise the site to new and dazzling levels.”