Field meeting reports

Meeting date: 12 August 2006

(Leader: Alan Knapp)

On a day when rain was forecast by lunchtime, ten members met at Iden Church and proceeded to spread themselves among four tetrads, gathering 420 records between them.

In TQ92C a wide ditch by the Rother yielded Oenanthe aquatica (Fine-leaved Water-dropwort), Cyperus longus (Galingale), Althaea officinalis (Marshmallow) and Menyanthes trifoliata (Bogbean, probably introduced). In the parking area nearby David Lang found six dead spikes of Ophrys apifera (Bee Orchid), and not far away was the attractive grass Lagurus ovatus (Hare’s-tail). Arthur’s group found Stachys arvensis (Field Woundwort) and Erysimum cheiranthoides (Treacle Mustard), and returned with a very long, narrow leaf which subsequently proved to be Inula helenium (Elecampane).

Prunus domestica was fruiting abundantly in the hedges in three out of four tetrads, confirming 2006 as a ‘good year for plums’. At lunchtime the rain appeared on cue and stopped play for the day. As frequently happens the weather improved on the way home and, on being held up by the level-crossing at Etchingham Station, Alan dived into the car park where 112 species were recorded in less than half an hour.