Plaw Hatch Farm, Forest Row

Field meeting reports
Picture of Lamium hybridum (Cut-leaved Dead-nettle) and Spergula arvensis (Corn Spurrey)
Lamium hybridum (Cut-leaved Dead-nettle) and Spergula arvensis (Corn Spurrey)

Meeting date: 7 July 2019

(Leader: Brad Scott)

One of two biodynamic community farms in the parish of Forest Row, Plaw Hatch is a mixed farm on the Ashdown Sandstone with some woodland and a lake. Nine of us gathered together in the car park, of which two lived on the farm, and one was a visiting botanist from Herefordshire. The main focus of our recording was the small arable area near the polytunnels, which contained abundant Spergula arvensis (Corn Spurrey) and Lamium hybridum (Cut-leaved Dead-nettle). It also proved to be a useful lesson in determining Amaranthaceae. The stream running through the farm wasn’t particularly accessible, but where it crossed one of the tracks there was a small clump of Glyceria declinata (Small Sweet-Grass) and some Veronica beccabunga (Brooklime). A few hybrids caught our attention too; a Hypericum revision session introduced us to Hypericum x desetangsii (H. perforatum x maculatum), and Mentha x villosa (Apple-mint) lined one of the paths. In total, 188 taxa were recorded, of which 5 were missing SPA species and 32 (17%) new tetrad records. The site will definitely benefit from repeat visits over the coming years.