Seven Sisters Country Park

Field meeting reports

Meeting date: 30 August 2014

(Leader: Helen Proctor)

Nine members assembled in the car park at Exceat on a dry, mild but overcast morning. Our route took us through parts of four tetrads, three of which had already been well-recorded.  However, the objective was to refind missing scarce species. At the oxbows, grapnels hauled out vast quantities of a filamentous alga which contained smaller amounts of Ruppia cirrhosa (Spiral Tasselweed), including one plant with fruits on a coiled peduncle. Ruppia maritima (Beaked Tasselweed) could not be found.

Near the river mouth, Frankenia laevis (Sea-heath) was a new record for TV59D.  In the saltmarsh nearby Spartina x townsendii (Townsend’s Cord-grass) was a new VC14 record.  One plant of Atriplex laciniata (Frosted Orache) was found, confirming its continued existence in one of only two localities in VC14.   The prostrate variety of Solanum dulcamara var. marinum (Bittersweet) growing on shingle was also a new record. On top of the first Sister, Centaurium erythraea var. capitatum (Common Centaury) was examinedFurther on, a brief search rewarded us with the sighting of about 50-60 flowering plants of Teucrium chamaedrys (Wall Germander).  Here, the wind had increased to an estimated gale force 8, challenging our athletic skills.  A frog-like jump caught a species list, and a rugby tackle brought back Mike’s flying clipboard which was on its way to France. Arenaria leptoclados (Slender Sandwort) was the second refind for TV59I. The hilltop above Foxholes had a colourful display of Campanula glomerata (Clustered Bellflower).  On the hillside, two stems of Spiranthes spiralis (Autumn Lady’s-tresses) were a refind for TV59J. In all, nine records from three tetrads were added, exceeding our expectations.  A rewarding and interesting day was had by all.