Field meeting reports

Meeting date: 15 June 2003

(Leader: Derek Wise, David Lang)

On a warm June day, 24 members and friends met to explore the grounds of Berewood House. Derek Wise’s garden includes the trackbed of the old Bluebell Railway (closed 1958), now a habitat for numerous Dactylorhiza fuchsii (Common Spotted-orchid) and Listera ovata (Twayblade). There is an old tennis court of neutral grassland, which had been left uncut deliberately (to the dismay of the gardener) in the hope of finding Ophioglossum vulgatum (Adder’s-tongue) which David Lang had seen there previously, but there was no trace of it. The ground on the north-east of the garden drops away steeply to an interesting boggy area, where the best find of the day was Carex strigosa (Thin-spiked Wood-sedge) – at least three large plants.

After lunch in the shade in the garden, members had an opportunity to look at some of Derek’s rare books before moving on to Knowlands Wood just north of the village. avid led the party round this typical Wealden wood, much of it Hornbeam coppice, but also Tilia cordata (Small-leaved Lime). There were damp rides where plants included Isolepis setacea (Bristle Club-rush), Anagallis minima (Chaffweed) and Scutellaria minor (Lesser Skullcap). The seven sedges included Carex pseudocyperus (Cyperus Sedge) and C. spicata (Spiked Sedge).