Field meeting reports

Meeting date: 11 July 2004

(Leader: Tony Spiers)

We were very lucky to have the small Jubilee golf course to ourselves all day and to be able to record this rich area without having to worry about golfers trying to knock our hats off.

Even before we’d got onto the course we’d found Medicago polymorpha (Toothed Medick) and Medicago minima (Bur Medick). The roughs were full of the blue tussocks of the alien Festuca brevipila (Hard Fescue), a grass recorded from here in Wolley-Dod. We also found the rare Festuca arenaria (Rush-leaved Fescue), seen here by Breda Burt and Francis Rose over 30 years ago.

There were suprisingly few plants of Eryngium maritimum (Sea-holly) – a plant that seems to be declining in Sussex, but Calystegia soldanella (Sea-bindweed) was still plentiful.  Oenothera cambrica (Small-flowered Evening Primrose) was looking surprisingly healthy and abundant here for a plant deemed by ‘The Sussex Rare Plant Register’ to be ‘extinct in Sussex’.

Rita congratulated the leader on a new Sussex record after he managed to lose two botanists before lunch.

In the afternoon, after some searching, we found Caddies Pool which was choked with Stratiotes aloides  (Water-soldier). We were also pleased to find Lactuca virosa (Great Lettuce) and some late-flowering spring annuals – Trifolium suffocatum (Suffocated Clover), Trifolium subterraneum (Burrowing Clover) and Trifolium ornithopodioides, (Bird’s-foot Clover).

Although we had hoped to look at the mobile dunes and the beach, it began to rain heavily, and so, card stuffed with records and pockets bulging with golf balls, we followed the old Rye/Camber tramway back to the cars.