Bedelands Farm

Field meeting reports

Meeting date: 13 July 2005

(Leader: Rita Hemsley)

A group of nine people met at the football field in the north of Burgess Hill on a beautiful, warm summer’s evening in mid July for a survey of part of Bedelands Farm LNR (tetrad TQ32A). We set off toward a woodland area but were soon diverted by some large piles of soil which proved to have a number of interesting species, including Galega officinalis (Goats Rue) and a mass of Lepidium campestre (Field Pepperwort). Perhaps the most unusual find on the soil heaps was a small patch of Torilis nodosa (Knotted Hedge-parsley) which, although fairly frequent along the coast, is uncommon inland. Our leader, Rita Hemsley, eventually dragged us away toward the woodland and meadows, passing on the way a line of planted Sorbus torminalis (Wild Service-tree). A number of woodland species were recorded, including Lamiastrum galeobdolon subsp. montanum (Yellow Archangel), Euphorbia amygdaloides (Wood Spurge) and Epipactis helleborine (Broad-leaved Helleborine); the latter illustrated the value of many pairs of eyes as only the last group of 2 or 3 people saw it after the rest of the party had walked straight past. Also in the woodland were some interesting ponds with Ceratophyllum demersum (Rigid Hornwort) and a narrow leaved pondweed which was later confirmed as Potamogeton berchtoldii (Small Pondweed). Although we were a little late in the year to fully appreciate them, it was clear that the meadows are very attractive as they have vast quantities of Rhinanthus minor (Yellow-rattle) and, in a couple of places, some nice patches of Genista tinctoria (Dyer’s Greenweed). One meadow also contained a stand of Geranium pratense (Meadow Crane’s-bill), an introduction but perhaps more welcome than most.  We finished by thanking Rita for a very enjoyable evening which produced an excellent total of 178 records for the tetrad.