Chapel Common

Field meeting reports

Meeting date: 5 September 2010

(Leader: Bruce Middleton)

After his record-breaking meeting of 2008 it had seemed wise to rest Bruce for a while.  He returned for a jog in the far NW of the county in rather less propitious circumstances – the long dry Summer had not been kind to heathland species and the herd of Shetland cattle on Chapel Common had dined upon just about anything green.  It would take more than this to defeat the Maestro, however, and soon Potentilla recta (Sulphur Cinquefoil) and Pilosella aurantiaca (Orange Hawkweed) were wowing the group.  Just after lunch the piece de resistance was produced in the form of minuscule green spheroid clusters at which the party squinted through extra-strong magnifying lenses while Bruce shouted Crassula tillaea (Mossy Stonecrop) with quite excessive glee.  A wander to see some dried-up remnants of Cuscuta epithymum (Common Dodder) and then to a large patch of Calamagrostis epigejos (Wood Small-reed) where Frances joined us to be whisked by Landrover to Wheatsheaf Common.  On this curious bulge into neighbouring Hampshire, as cannonades of golf-balls were dodged, a tempting array of goodies was spread before the company – Rhynchospora alba (White Beak-sedge), Potamogeton polygonifolius (Bog Pondweed), Ranunculus omiophyllus (Round-leaved Crowfoot), Lycopodiella inundata (Marsh Club-moss). These were duly adored but such is human nature that soon other specialities were desired… and lo! were found in the form of Eleocharis multicaulis  (Many-stalked Spike-rush) and Eriophorum angustifolium (Common Cottongrass).  Another triumph for the inimitable Brucie with his Strictly Come Planting!