Little England Farm

Field meeting reports
Picture of Spiked Rampion (Phyteuma spicatum)
Phyteuma spicatum (Spiked Rampion). Photo: Brad Scott

Meeting date: 7 June 2015

(Leader: Jacqui Hutson)

We were slow to leave the parking place because the heavily mown roadside verge yielded several finds, including a species that puzzled all the experts.  The sun shone as eight of us wandered through the meadows, woods, stream sides, and by the lake on Michael Whitaker’s farm.  We found Impatiens parviflora (Small Balsam) growing, surprisingly, in the shade at the edge of a concrete yard but the other 148 species we recorded were in more expected places.  Eight species were missing SPA species and nine species were new records.  The meadows varied in their species composition and diversity – some with abundant Leucanthemum vulgare (Ox-eye Daisy), others with Dactylorhiza fuchsii (Common Spotted-orchid), Lotus spp. (Bird’s-foot-trefoils), or Ranunculus spp. (Buttercups) being most noticeable. Alopecurus geniculatus (Marsh Foxtail) growing in a wet corner of a field provoked a debate settled without too much trouble.  Apart from the plants we enjoyed encounters with several insects – identified for us by one of the group.  We lunched in a meadow above the lake where the rather difficult-to-place fragrance of Mentha arvensis (Corn Mint) assailed our noses.  The day ended with a little diversion to a nearby lane where we delighted in the sight of several spikes of Phyteuma spicatum (Spiked Rampion).

See also

  1. Scott, Brad. “Hadlow Down.” Diversions in Natural History. June 07, 2015. Accessed March 24, 2016.