Beechen Wood

Field meeting reports

Meeting date: 18 May 2013

(Leader: Helen Proctor)

The main objectives were to record plants for the landowner and to refind missing Sussex Plant Atlas species in TQ42K. With a cold Spring the Bluebells were still at their best, providing a dense blue carpet through this semi-natural ancient woodland.  Several plants of Dactylorrhiza fuchsii (Common Spotted-orchid) and one non-flowering Orchis mascula (Early-purple Orchid) with unspotted leaves were seen.  Further on, subtle changes in the geology and more open rides produced different species.  Progress was slow as identification skills were ably shared with the two enthusiastic new members. After lunch, we walked to the Shortbridge stream where Cardamine amara (Large Bittercress), some in flower, overhung the stream bank for several metres. Fifteen species, including seven SPA missing species, were added.  The eleven members who came enjoyed a dry, mild day with some sunshine in the afternoon.