Meeting date: 24 April 2010
(Leader: Roy Wells)
The 24th April was warm and sunny, an ideal day to kick off a new season of field trips. Seventeen members successfully navigated their way to Witherden Hill in the more rural northern part of East Sussex, despite a couple of them passing each other going in opposite directions on the way to the meeting point. Once assembled, and after enthusiastic greetings amongst old friends, we split into three groups to record TQ62I, covering between us a wide range of habitats: woodland, hedgerows, meadows, riverbank and even a bit of arable carrying Brassica napus (Rape). We recorded a satisfactorily large number of woodland plants which were just beginning to come into their full glory, including Sanicula europaea (Sanicle), Adoxa moschatellina (Moschatel), Allium ursinum (Ramsons), Ribes rubrum (Red Currant), Ribes uva-crispa (Gooseberry), Ranunculus auricomus (Goldilocks), and large stands of Cardamine bulbifera (Coralroot). Viola arvensis (Corn Pansy) figured from the arable. We collected 40 new records for TQ62I.
In the afternoon we relocated to Brock Wood to record TQ62M as a single group. The paths to the south-western part of the wood were overgrown and obliterated and we were confined to the north-western end of steep woodland with a ghyll at its base, which had a good range of its expected flora. We saw more Cardamine bulbifera here and in dampish patches good colonies of Valeriana officinalis (Common Valerian). There were very large, tree-size Frangula alnus (Alder Buckthorn) and we saw small plants of Thuja plicata (Western Red Cedar), evidently seed established from planted trees. As one might expect so early in the year we found some plants just emerging that could not be accurately identified that were the cause of considerable speculation but no satisfactory conclusion. We finished our day rather earlier than usual but nonetheless added a further ten records for the tetrad.