30 June 2012

BSBI meeting at Whiteford

The route taken by Saturday's group of hardy souls first took us up onto Cwm Ivy Tor where between the showers we enjoyed excellent views of Whiteford Burrows and logged some interesting plants including White Horehound (Marrubium vulgare) and Ivy Broomrape (Orobanche hederae).
Cwm Ivy Tor on a sunny day!
We then moved into the ‘new’ slack in vain hope of finding Fen Orchid (Liparis loeselii), now unrecorded at Whiteford for a good number of years. As expected we failed to rediscover it, but did record a good number of scarce and localised species in a very healthy and sizeable dune slack.

Grass Eggar (Lasiocampa trifolii) Notable A
found wandering across Slack 7
After a quick sortie along the strandline we moved into the established dunes and made it as far as the last plantation to record the extent of the Common Wintergreen (Pyrola minor) colony first discovered in 2010.
the not-so-diverse Common Wintergreen site
As we headed back through the upper saltmarsh transition on the eastern side of dunes the sharp-eyed Peter Sturgess rediscovered what turned out to be a healthy population of Saltmarsh Flat-sedge (Blysmus rufus), a plant that had not been seen in the county since 1905 when Eleanor Vachell first recorded it as new to Glamorgan and at its southern-most UK location.
Saltmarsh Flat-sedge
The day’s tally of 234 vascular plants plus a further 16 lower plants highlights the importance of the diverse habitats found in this beautiful corner of Gower. Many thanks to those who attended and made the day a memorable one depsite the weather: John Crellin, Alison Heath, Ursula Jones, Ceri Richards, Alastair Stevenson, Robe Stokes, Peter Sturgess, Kaz Wilkinson, Vanessa Williams & yours truly.

To see some of John's excellent images click here.

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