Stanley Common

Field meeting reports

Meeting date: 1 October 2006

(Leader: Rod Stern)

Nine members of the amphibious wing of the Society had an exhilarating foray on the sandy high ground at the NW extreme of Sussex, intending to survey both vascular plants and bryophytes.  Having parked in Hampshire at Highfield School (thanks to Bruce), we wandered over sports fields to enter the home county, and so battle commenced.  A solitary specimen of Stachys arvensis (Field Woundwort) attracted interest, and then into the heathy woods where, according to the deplorable remarks of a few members who thoroughly deserve to be struck off, our esteemed Chairman summoned the rain.  We were to have focused on mosses in the afternoon, but ‘Rod proposes, Nature disposes’ – or something like that.  Deluges and hail, against which the holly thickets were no protection, thunder, lightning, a dead oak bough landing too close for comfort, waterlogged data… and so to lunch with a herd of Shetland cattle, old friends of Frances.  We had time to admire a good selection of fungi, but it seemed better to give up on the bryophytes and drip our way back to the cars.  Nevertheless, a haul of 120 vascular plant species, including Impatiens parviflora (Small Balsam), for this part-tetrad was more than respectable.