Besley Farm

Field meeting reports

Meeting date: 3 June 2000

(Leader: Frances Abraham)

Scraps of Geranium pusillum (Small-flowered Crane’s-bill) about our feet were a good omen as we assembled in Watersfield. Down a farm track, into a grassy field which became increasingly more interesting as we crossed it, the prize being much Oenanthe silaifolia (Narrow-leaved Water-dropwort). Succeeding fields became progressively wetter and sedgier – culminating in large clumps of Carex vulpina (Fox Sedge) which was a new plant to many of those present; seeing it in the field and comparing it with the visibly different C otrubae (False Fox-sedge) nearby perplexed some as they reflected on the current state of uncertainty about such microscopic details as leaf sections and testa sculpture. The morning was rounded off with Stellaria glauca (Marsh Stitchwort) …. and so to lunch  which was taken by a hedge affording little shade on this hot day but accommodating a very enthusiastic nightingale. The afternoon session proved not in the least anticlimactic and nearly 150 species were entered on the card for the day. Frances, probably facetiously, described the meeting as a sedgefest but this was no exaggeration with 12 Carices seen in total including C acuta (Slender Tufted-sedge) which seems not to be much met with in Sussex. Reviewing the event, however, even those perverse individuals whose hearts do not thrill at the merest glimpse of a triangular stem found an abundance of interest.