Field meeting reports

Meeting date: 27 August 2005

(Leader: Paul Harmes)

A bright morning saw a good number of members assemble in the main village car park in Northiam. The object of the day was to complete the first round of recording in tetrads in the TQ82 10km square. Attendees split into small teams of two or three and went off to the various highlighted tetrads, armed with a map and recording cards. We were to re-convene in the car park for lunch, before setting off again in the afternoon to the same tetrads, but with each group going to a different one from their morning visit. This way we got good coverage in seven tetrads, and everyone visited two.

One of the places we were admitted to was the grounds of the Frewen Estate, to the south of the village. This was arranged by Patrick Roper. One of the interesting finds here was a very large colony of Aira caryophyllea (Silver Hair-grass), scattered all along the walls of the gardens. As this was thought to be a diminishing species during Atlas 2000 recording, it was a very rewarding find. Secondly, there was also Mentha requenii (Corsican Mint). Some disturbed soil on the verge of the High Street produced a good number of Chenopodium species, including C. rubrum (Red Goosefoot), C. polyspermum (Many-seeded Goosefoot), C. ficifolium (Fig-leaved Goosefoot) and C. album (Fat-hen), as well as Amaranthus retroflexus (Common Amaranth) and Persicaria maculosa (Redshank). All the tetrads visited produced good numbers of records, and two had over 200 species each recorded.

Outstanding non-botanical records were Otter (seen by Arthur Hoare and Alan Knapp), Dark Dagger Moth caterpillars and Dark Bush Cricket (Paul Harmes), and Long-winged Conehead and Araneus spider (Tony Spiers).

This format for a ‘Flora’ recording meeting worked very well, as did the similarly organized Southwater meeting. Therefore it is proposed to try the system again next year.