Category Archives: Volunteering

Swarming weekend with South Lancs Bat Group

Way back on August Bank Holiday weekend I joined South Lancs Bat Group for a weekend of swarming bats.  We have for several years held a project licence to trap and ring bats at two local swarming sites to find out more about the bats using the sites and hopefully add to scientific knowledge about swarming behaviour. Continue reading

Warrington Plant Group at Norton Marsh

Our first coastal meeting turned up our first new county record!  Debs and I spent ages looking at a sow-thistle in one of the ditches on Norton Marsh before concluding it was a mystery plant – a hybrid, perhaps.  We both went up to it thinking it was going to be field sow thistle Sonchus arvensis on account of its overall size, look and large flowerheads.  But no.  Where were the massive glandular hairs for which this plant is famous amongst botanists?  Seriously, the hairs are legendary, you can see them from across the street they are so large and abundant.  No hairs. Back to the drawing board. Continue reading

BSBI Flintshire – the search for Euphrasia pseudokerneri

Euphrasia pseudokerneri is a Flintshire rarity.  Or, it would be, if anyone could actually find it. The plant was last recorded in the county at Penyball Hill by Vera Gordon in 1962, but no-one has seen it since.  Wendy McCarthy looked in the 1990s and, not wanting to give up on it, we thought we’d have another look.  After all, a new eyebright handbook is in prep and it would be great to re-establish our knowledge of the distribution of this species in North Wales.

Euphrasia pseudokerneri photographed by L. Rooney at Lydden, Kent

Euphrasia pseudokerneri photographed by L. Rooney

Continue reading

Warrington Plant Group at Gemini East

It may seem strange to hold a botanical meeting on the edge of a business park, but this is a diverse 1km square with woodland, grassland and river and we found 161 species of vascular plant in our day’s excursion without even covering the whole square.  Might even be better than the adjacent square which we covered last year!  Unfortunately it was raining, which cramped our style a bit, but four hardy botanists turned out anyway to explore what the square had to offer. Continue reading

BSBI Flintshire at Prestatyn Meadows

The weather forecast was vile and the trains were cancelled, but that didn’t stop four botanists from assembling to discover the flora of Prestatyn Meadows.  After driving through torrential rain, we were pleasantly surprised to find it stopped just a few minutes after we set out, and we were able to enjoy the rest of our excursion in relatively balmy conditions.

Prestatyn Meadows is an interesting site because it lies on land reclaimed from the sea and has many ditches with a slightly brackish influence.  Interesting species recorded on the day include meadow barley, divided sedge and parsley-leaved water-dropwort, but we were not successful in refinding brown sedge or tubular water-dropwort.

We made a full species list for the day and recorded 142  species – not bad for a 16 hectare site given that we couldn’t get into most of the fields because they were so overgrown.

Warrington Plant Group at Rixton Clay Pits SSSI

Warrington Plant Group are getting brave!  Not content with mere square bashing we now apply ourselves to difficult plant groups like sedges and marsh orchids 🙂

marsh orchid

marsh orchid

We met at Rixton Clay Pits SSSI to investigate the reason it was designated of national importance for nature conservation – its marshy grassland flora.  Continue reading

Botanical recording at Treuddyn, Flintshire with BSBI

You know you’re in for a good day out when you record 46 species of plant in the car park !

Photo by Betty Lee

Photo by Betty Lee

It helps to have lots of pairs of eyes though…….

We met at Treuddyn, a village near Mold, to record all the plants we could find in the tetrad north of the village – this is a 2 x 2 kilometer square map unit which is commonly used in botanical recording.  The village is situated on the top of a ridge and commands good views over the surrounding rural landscape, with mixed farming, woodland and streams.  We weren’t sure what to expect, as there are very few recent records for this tetrad and much of the area is given over to fairly intensive sheep farming.

We were not disappointed, with 210 plant species recorded on the day 🙂

Here are a few snaps:

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