Field meeting reports

Meeting date: 21 August 2011

(Leader: Nick Sturt)

Chichester Harbour is always a popular venue with members, as the Field Convenor was reminded by one of them just when he suspected from the impressive turn-out that it was his personal magnetism.  We plumped once again for the Knapp Formula, with groups led by Dawn and Elisabeth to Westbourne tetrads and the Not So Magnetic One to Thornham Lane.  Thanks to the vigilance and expertise of his team there were many rediscoveries in this last tetrad (SU70S) which was already on 333: re-finds such as Spiranthes spiralis (Autumn Lady’s-tresses) and Juncus maritimus (Sea Rush) on the edge of the Harbour, and not a few new records besides, including a little Salicornia fragilis (Fragile Glasswort). At one point the group peered through binoculars at a distant post which Anne identified as an Osprey.  The Westbourne groups returned brimming with records and joie de vivre for a communal lunch.  After which a stroll along the side of the creek and so through boatyards to Hermitage.  The indefatigable members studied the lists and plugged gaps as they went – more Juncus maritimus and Glaux maritima (Sea Milkwort) – and enjoyed much Inula crithmoides (Golden Samphire).  Then a commemorative photograph in front of the house on the A259 where Rev. Dr. F. H. Arnold lived from the 1870s to 1906, recalling another taken some 20 years before on a previous field meeting.  On that occasion the new owners of the house had entertained members most hospitably and Tony remarked that the effects of the tumbler of mint julep he had rashly consumed on that occasion had only just begun to wear off.  It was a perfect day out of late summer, and as usual a meeting in this neck of the woods was rendered all the more profitable and enjoyable by the guidance of Anne de Potier.