Ashdown Forest

Field meeting reports
Picture of Marsh Gentian (Gentiana pneumonanthe). Photo: Brad Scott
Gentiana pneumonanthe (Marsh Gentian). Photo: Brad Scott

Meeting date: 5 September 2015

(Leaders: Ruth Eastwood & Helen Proctor)

Thirteen members gathered for the Ashdown Forest Marsh Gentian Hunt in TQ42P and TQ43F.  All were eager to win the prize for finding the first Gentiana pneumonanthe (Marsh Gentian).  The party aimed to survey recorded localities, which involved striking out across the marshes, and some of us wished we had worn wellies!  As Ruth found the first one the prize quickly became for the second plant found.  Tim Rayner enjoyed his chocolate prize at lunchtime and went on to become the star Gentian finder.  Most plants were still in bud.  If the sun had shone we would perhaps have got more than the glimpse of the stunning Gentian blue.  Once we got our eyes in, the Gentians became almost commonplace in small areas.  Other highlights of the day were Drosera rotundifolia (Common Sundew), Cuscuta epithymum (Dodder) and a Wasp Spider (Argiope bruennichi).  Overall, there were fewer plants in fewer places in comparison with earlier records, and it was clear that in some areas management should change to prevent the Marsh Gentians from being shaded out.

See also

  1. Scott, Brad. “Marsh Gentians in Ashdown Forest.” Diversions in Natural History. September 07, 2015. Accessed March 24, 2016. https://diversionsinnaturalhistory.wordpress.com/2015/09/07/marsh-gentians-in-ashdown-forest/.
  2. Reader, M.E. “Marsh Gentian on Ashdown Forest.” Sussex Botanical Recording Society Newsletter, no. 51 (Jan 2001). http://www.sussexflora.org.uk/resources/articles/marsh-gentian-ashdown-forest/.