Great Gotely Wood and Brickwall Park, Northiam

Field meeting reports
Picture of Ophioglossum vulgatum (Adder's-tongue)
Ophioglossum vulgatum (Adder’s-tongue). Photo: Brad Scott

Meeting date: 7 May 2016

(Leaders: Ellen Campbell and Judy Clark)

By 10.45 a remarkable nineteen people had gathered in Northiam car park to undertake a survey of Great Gotely Wood. Much ferrying to the wood ensued and we split into two groups, one for each tetrad (TQ82H and 82M). Great Gotely turned out to be highly diverse; by the time we regrouped 92 different species had been recorded, including 26 ancient woodland indicators. We stopped for lunch amongst the abundant Ramsons (Allium ursinum) where a number of spikes of Neottia ovata (Twayblade) were seen. Other interesting species included Quercus petraea (Sessile Oak), a huge Malus sylvestris (Crab Apple) in full flower, and a cultivated Pear tree marking human habitation, now gone.

Picture of Neottia ovata (Twayblade)
Neottia ovata (Twayblade). Photo: Brad Scott

After lunch we trundled in convoy to Brickwall Park (TQ82G), about 41 hectares of small woods and trees in open pasture, and another of the gems of the eastern end of East Sussex which we like to show off. We headed for an area of acid grassland where we hoped to refind both Ophioglossum vulgatum (Adder’s-tongue) and Viola canina (Heath Dog-violet). We were not disappointed. There was less Adder’s-tongue than was remembered but Viola canina was found in good numbers, along with Viola riviniana (Common Dog-violet).  We couldn’t find the hybrid, but we did record 60 species in all.

Picture of botanists in Sussex
Excitement at Brickwall Park. Photo: Brad Scott