Field meeting reports

Meeting date: 18 June 2011

(Leader: Helen Proctor)

A select group of four members met in Horam car park to record in TQ51T.  From the car park we passed Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia-creeper) covering half the pavement width.  Lobelia erinus (Garden Lobelia) had escaped from its intended home in a hanging basket and Erigeron karvinskianus (Mexican Fleabane) was happily established outside a hairdresser’s abode.  Vulpia myuros (Rat’s-tail Fescue) was found on a track close to the former railway line. By pure chance we met the owner of a garden that contained unimproved grassland.  Thanks are due to Andy Billings for giving us access and for allowing several native plants to survive including several Sussex Plant Atlas species needed for our records!  Eighteen spikes of Dactylorhiza fuchsii (Common Spotted-orchid) were counted.  In all seventeen species were added to the records, bringing the tetrad total to exactly 300! As there were frequent torrential showers, skills were developed in juggling with umbrellas, the recording card, and list of missing species. In the afternoon, we recorded plants in TQ51Z.  Thanks are due to Emma Gower for allowing parking on her land and for advice on botanically worthy sites.  Sapperton Meadows, a SSSI, had vast quantities of Achillea ptarmica (Sneezewort).  One flower spike of Dactylorhiza maculata ssp. ericetorum (Heath Spotted-orchid) was found alongside more plentiful D. fuchsii.  The afternoon remained dry with the rain only returning at the end of the day.