Iden area

Field meeting reports

Meeting date: 20-21 June 2009

(Leaders: Alan Knapp, Rita Hemsley)

On the first morning of this two-day meeting, led by Alan Knapp, we split into four groups to record some very under-recorded tetrads east and NE of Rye. We got records from six tetrads, although in one or two cases there were only a few as the groups passed through on their way to another tetrad. It soon became apparent that the lack of records from this area was, at least in part, due to the restricted number of habitats. Those habitats that were present included heavily sheep-grazed pasture and well-sprayed arable. There was some interest in the ditches although the banks of some had suffered from spray drift. Species of interest included Anthriscus caucalis (Bur Chervil) and Carex arenaria (Sand Sedge) in TQ91Z, Oenanthe lachenalii (Parsley Water-dropwort) and Trifolium ornithopodioides (Bird’s-foot Clover) in TQ92G, Nymphoides peltata (Fringed Water-lily) in TQ92H, both Typha angustifolia (Lesser Bulrush) and the hybrid, T. x glauca in TQ92K, Glyceria declinata (Small Sweet-grass) and Typha angustifolia in TQ92L, and Potamogeton pusillus (Lesser Pondweed) and P. trichoides (Hairlike Pondweed) in TQ92M.

In the afternoon we recorded the area NW of Iden (TQ92B) as a single group. As a result of losing the official footpath we found a group of planted willows which proved to be a rather unexpected hybrid of Salix viminalis (Osier) and S. aurita (Eared Willow): S. x fruticosa.

On the second fine and sunny day of this meeting, led by Rita Hemsley, eight people met again and in the morning divided into two groups to record TQ82S and TQ82V.  The areas covered were a definite improvement on day one. TQ82S provided Carex pseudocyperus (Cyperous Sedge), Myosotis laxa (Tufted Forget-me-not) and one of our less frequent aquatic introductions, Ranunculus lingua (Greater Spearwort). In TQ82V species of interest included Carex spicata (Spiked Sedge), Rosa micrantha (Small-flowered Sweet-briar) and Sedum telephium (Orpine).  Driving back to meet up for lunch one group spotted Lysimachia punctata (Dotted Loosestrife) in Rectory Lane. A lunchtime exploration of the churchyard at Iden revealed Asplenium adiantum-nigrum (Black Spleenwort), Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) and Asparagus officinalis (Asparagus) on the church walls.

In the afternoon we headed to Moat Farm in the NE corner of TQ82W as a single group. The area around the moat threw up a variety of expected moisture-lovers and, more interestingly, Potamogeton berchtoldii (Small Pondweed), Oenanthe aquatica (Fine-leaved Water-dropwort) and Ranunculus peltatus (Pond Water-crowfoot).  Orchards and some newly coppiced woodland produced further species and a relief from the relentless sunshine. Finally the addition of a variety of grasses brought the total to 53 species.

This finished off a most enjoyable and useful weekend in which we managed to get new records from ten of our least well-recorded tetrads.