Powdermill Wood

Field meeting reports

Meeting date: 7 May 2005

(Leader: John Hicks)

This was a tetrad survey, including two nature reserves, both managed by John Hicks. John led the meeting, so that we had full access to all parts of Powdermill Wood. The Powdermill Stream with its floodplain runs through the middle of the wood, providing a wet habitat with high humidity.

We found seven species of fern, including Athyrium filix-femina (Lady Fern), Blechnum spicant (Hard Fern), Dryopteris affinis ssp. affinis (Scaly Male-fern) and D. carthusiana (Narrow Buckler-fern). On the open areas we found Hypericum humifusum (Trailing St John’s-wort) and Aphanes arvensis agg. (Parsley-piert). There were large swathes of Chrysosplenium oppositifolium (Opposite-leaved Golden-saxifrage) and Ranunculus ficaria ssp. ficaria (Lesser Celandine), with patches of R. ficaria ssp. bulbifera. In the water we found Callitriche obtusangula (Blunt-fruited Water-starwort) and where the canopy was broken there were scattered plants of Euphorbia amygdaloides (Wood Spurge).

We then moved eastwards to the second reserve, which had Hypericum pulchrum (Slender St John’s-wort). In the centre of the reserve there was shallow water with a large area of Carex paniculata (Greater Tussock-sedge) with Lysimachia vulgaris (Yellow Loosestrife), Alisma plantago-aquatica (Water-plantain) and Iris pseudacorus (Yellow Iris). We crossed the boardwalk and came back to the dry end, where there was a large colony of Listera ovata (Common Twayblade). In the afternoon we walked back along the track, finding Pentaglottis sempervirens (Green Alkanet).

The total for the day was 194 species.