Cowden and Holtye

Field meeting reports
Picture of Sanicula europaea (Sanicle)
Sanicula europaea (Sanicle). Photo: Brad Scott

Meeting date: 10 May 2017

(Leaders: Geoffrey Kitchener/Brad Scott)

Gorgeous sunshine greeted the nineteen assembled members of the Kent and Sussex groups for our annual cross-border meeting. Progress out of Cowden village was very leisurely as unusual garden escapes were noted, and included a diversion to inspect the extensive timber framing under the tower of the church, as well as useful lessons in differentiating Veronica species. Crossing the Kent Water meant that the Sussex recording task could start, though was complicated by the relatively small area we covered spanning four different tetrads.

Many banks included sizeable populations of Tellima grandiflora (Fringecups), and Polystichum aculeatum (Hard Shield-fern) was observed on both sides of the Kent Water by Kitford Bridge, though a putative P. x bicknellii (Polystichum setiferum x aculeatum) was only found on the Kent side. Permission had been obtained to explore around Furnace Pond, which added several new tetrad records, and the highlight was Carex x boenninghausiana, the hybrid between Greater Tussock Sedge and Remote Sedge (C. paniculata x remota) though it too was only found on the Kent side. However, considering how frequent the two parent species are along this stretch of Kent Water it is possible that it could be found in Sussex. By the end of the day a considerable number of new tetrad records had been added to the small Sussex fragments of TQ44, and the Kent group closed the meeting with their traditional fare of tea and cake in the car park.

Picture of Tellima grandiflora (Fringecups)
Tellima grandiflora (Fringecups). Photo: Brad Scott