Stockland Farm

Field meeting reports

Meeting date: 5 June 2005

(Leader: Pat Donovan)

Bob and Ann Spencer, owners of this High Weald farm, are very keen on its flora.  The habitats are varied and include old, overgrown coppiced woodland, unimproved meadows (one an SSSI), a Wealden ghyll, three ponds, and the river Uck on the north boundary, where Claytonia sibirica (Pink Purslane) grows. In the adjoining meadow Hypericum maculatum ssp. maculatum (Imperforate St John’s Wort) was abundant, along with Festuca pratensis (Meadow Fescue). In the old coppice there was Neottia nidus-avis, (Bird’s-nest Orchid) and, following recent coppicing, two spikes of Platanthera chlorantha (Greater Butterfly Orchid) have appeared; a few seedlings of Epipactis helleborine (Broad-leaved Helleborine) were soon polished off by the local deer. Species typical of old meadows included Lathyrus nissolia (Grass Vetchling), Rhinanthus minor (Yellow Rattle), Silaum silaus (Pepper Saxifrage) and Briza media (Quaking-grass).  At the end of the meeting tea and delicious cakes were served and Rita fed two greedy lambs which demanded their bottle too.