Meeting date: 29 May 2011
(Leader: Roy Wells)
Nine members met at Stonegate Village Hall and walked across fields to the northern part of TQ62T, first entering Church Wood Shaws, where Veronica montana (Wood Speedwell) was the only new record. The exceptionally long, dry and warm spring had reduced the ghyll stream to a trickle and the woodland had more the appearance of August than May. However, recording increased with a field of unimproved grassland that was spangled with the jewel-like flowers of Lathyrus nissolia (Grass Vetchling), Vicia sativa ssp. nigra (native Common Vetch) and Vicia tetrasperma (Smooth Vetch). Occasional Dactylorhiza fuchsii (Common Spotted-orchid) added to the display. Profuse seedlings of a Myosotis were positively identified as M. discolor (Changing Forget-me-not) when a few flowers were found. We took lunch sheltering from the high winds and enjoyed half an hour of sunshine. After lunch, a farm track alongside arable gave us Lepidium campestre (Field Pepperwort), Bromus commutatus (Meadow Brome), Lolium multiflorum (Italian Rye-grass) and Silaum silaus (Pepper-saxifrage). Genista tinctoria (Dyer’s Green-weed was also there in quantity. Another unimproved meadow showed Rhinanthus minor (Yellow-rattle) and Linum bienne (Pale Flax). A couple of large ponds had modest numbers of marginal species but lacked floating aquatics. By the end of the day we had met our target by bringing the number up by nearly 40 to over 260 species in the tetrad. We ended the meeting with a ramble around Stonegate village and increased the records for TQ62U to 300.