Barklye Farm, Broad Oak

Field meeting reports

Meeting date: 1 June 2002

(Leader: Lyn Haines)

In order for there to be plants left to record, SBRS member Lyn Haines had very kindly removed her sheep from an eight acre field on the farm a few weeks earlier. An unimproved west-facing meadow, it slopes down to a tributary of the Rother. It is mainly Weald clay with some drier areas, and a spring on the north side where there was Carex panicea (Carnation Sedge), Montia fontana (Blinks) and Stachys palustris (Marsh Woundwort).

The top of the field appeared to be damper than the bottom, with clumps of Juncus effusus (Soft Rush), Ranunculus flammula (Lesser Spearwort) and Alopecurus geniculatus (Marsh Foxtail). In the drier areas Briza media (Quaking Grass) was common, as was Carex caryophyllea (Spring Sedge), Carex ovalis (Oval Sedge) and Dactylorhiza fuchsii (Common Spotted Orchid).

After lunch on the lawn, with refreshment kindly provided by Lyn and her daughter, a neighbouring farmer’s field was visited, which proved even more interesting than the first, as it had an area of peaty soil around a spring, and contained plants such as Carex binervis (Green-ribbed Sedge), Molinia caerulea (Purple Moor Grass), Anagallis tenella (Bog Pimpernel) and Cirsium dissectum (Meadow Thistle).

The site is apparently an SSSI, was notified in 1991, and is an example of a rare habitat known as ‘fen meadow’.