East Guldeford

Field meeting reports

Meeting date: 24 August 2013

(Leaders: Jacqueline Rose, Judy Clark, Ellen Campbell)

An excursion to parts unknown in the very easternmost part of East Sussex, with a focus on ditches: what botanist could resist?  Perhaps a forecast threatening thunder and lightning and heaven knows what else acted as a deterrent, for only five fortitudinous souls turned up. The clouds began to darken as we set off for a ditch by Brooks Bridge in TQ92G, where new records included Butomus umbellatus (Flowering-rush), which we in East Sussex don’t see much, and Triglochin palustris (Marsh Arrow-grass).  With the sky growing ever more menacing we moved on to the banks of the Union Channel, where Jacqueline spotted tiny sprigs of Glaux maritima (Sea-milkwort) in some incipient salt marsh.  And then, did the rain come down!  But we did not forsake the cause, seeing an opportunity to eat lunch while it poured, pause, and then have a chance to visit a nearby cafe for hot drinks, when it poured some more.  Eventually, it sort of stopped raining and we ventured forth once more, this time southwards to TQ92F and K.  Species that we don’t see every day included Lemna gibba (Fat Duckweed), Ceratophyllum submersum (Soft Hornwort), Veronica catenata (Pink Water-speedwell) and Samolus valerandi (Brookweed). We were rewarded not only with new records but also with another soaking.  At 4 o’clock we decided that it was time to abandon what can only be described as a truly aquatic experience!