Field meeting reports

Meeting date: 28 April 2012

(Leader: Nick Sturt)

April’s showers sweet had been doing much to pierce to the root the drought of March but the twelve only slightly Chaucerian members plus guest Gill from Hampshire had more to put up with in the form of a sharp East wind that whipped along the front at Worthing.  David, who had stepped up to the plate to take on the TQ10 Hectad, led a macho band into TQ10H where Offington Cemetery provided sufficient interest for the whole of a long morning, with some unimproved grassland yielding Trifolium subterraneum (Subterranean Clover), a stray plant of Hippocrepis comosa (Horse-shoe Vetch) on a road verge, and a healthy crop of aliens, as one would expect from this particular gang.

Meanwhile the author headed to East Worthing with a mixed gender group to look at an industrial estate, residential roads, the seafront and Brooklands Park, in the hope of providing TQ10R with a more respectable score than 204.  New records came relatively easily, many on the ‘missing’ list but some, like Stellaria pallida (Lesser Chickweed), new finds.  Tony and Ady were on hand to obviate the use of a key in many instances and some impressive vegetative identification was performed by the group as a whole, with grasses well covered.  Brooklands Park was probably the least rewarding of the areas but there was the consolation of the first swallows and martins skimming the pond and probably wondering why they had left Africa.

An even colder afternoon did not deter the combined force, who sought to boost TQ10A and B.  Here too there were species to add – some common but one or two notable, pride of place going to David’s Philadelphus coronarius (Mock-orange) and a patch of Allium paradoxum (Few-flowered Garlic) which Dawn recognised without hesitation.