Field meeting reports

Meeting date: 19 April 2008

(Leader: Alan Knapp)

Despite the weather, which was cold, damp and windy, 28 enthusiasts gathered in Nymans car park for the first meeting of the year, including two hardy people who had come by public transport from Brighton on the train and bus.  The morning was spent in the woodland gardens and Alan, who was keen to encourage new members in the practice of plant recording, soon had a cluster of people round him as he pointed out the key characters of similar plants, eg Veronica hederifolia ssp. hederifolia and ssp. lucorum (Ivy-leaved Speedwell), a tricky one for some.

Some plants originally grown in the main gardens have escaped across the road and naturalised, including Erica lusitanica (Portuguese Heath), Trachystemon orientalis (Abraham-Isaac-Jacob) and Scilla liliohyacinthus (Pyrenean Squill).  A small patch of Lathraea clandestina (Purple Toothwort) was found in a damp hollow under willow.

In the afternoon we went into Cow Wood, mainly to check on the health of Hymenophyllum tunbridgense (Tunbridge Filmy-fern), which appears to be flourishing – perhaps not the right word for a plant which lurks under dark, damp rocks never looking any different year by year.  Another fern re-found was Dryopteris aemula (Hay-scented Buckler-fern) but Roy, who has an eye for it, discovered a new site by a stream at the bottom of a very steep slope. Few people ventured down but took his word for it!  Nick produced a two inch length of leaf which he assured us was Carex strigosa (Thin-spiked Wood-sedge) and Alan was pleased to record Euphorbia amygdaloides (Wood Spurge), which needs searching for in some tetrads and was not previously recorded in this one.