Cherry Garden Farm and Berry Wood

Field meeting reports
Picture of Common Cudweed (Filago vulgaris)
Filago vulgaris (Common Cudweed). Photo: Helen Proctor

Meeting date: 22 July 2015

(Leaders: Philip Glyn & Helen Proctor)

A select group of five, including our Chairman and his wife, met Philip and Pam Glyn at Cherry Garden Farm.  Over tea and coffee and a sumptuous feast of home-made cakes, Philip gave us a brief introduction to his estate before a guided tour. Stepping a few yards into the garden we ticked off all but one of the common Epilobium (Willowherb) species.  Speedwells flourished too, with a white flowered Veronica agrestis Green Field-speedwell, sharing space with the vegetables.  It was pleasing to see a plant of the not so common Filago vulgaris (Common Cudweed) and also Glebionis segetum (Corn Marigold), which had arrived unaided. Rhinanthus minor (Yellow-rattle) had been sown in the meadow and was reducing the vigour of the grasses.  Betonica officinalis (Betony) was making a colourful display.  The rayed form of Centaurea nigra (Common Knapweed) occurred here as well as the hybrid Hypericum x desetangsii (Des Etangs’ St. John’s-wort).  Along the outcrop of Tunbridge Wells Sandstone known as Mills Rocks, we saw Festuca altissima (Tall Fescue), carefully protected against browsing deer.  After lunch on the cliffs we continued to Berry Wood.  The entire wood has been enclosed in deer fencing which has allowed the ground flora to flourish.  The ride had been scraped six years ago and is mown every September, with the cuttings removed.  Species included Hypericum humifusum (Trailing St. John’s-wort), Scutellaria minor (Lesser Skullcap), and three sedges species.  In a coppiced area we saw one stem of Epipactis purpurata (Violet Helleborine). A huge, old coppiced tree of Tilia cordata (Small-leaved Lime) was admired as well as a Crataegus laevigata (Midland Hawthorn) shrub beside it. We recorded about 250 species, including several SPA missing species for TQ43D. 4pm was teatime in the wood.  A kettle boiled over a wood fire and home-made cakes were again on offer.