Warrington Plant Group at Spud Wood, Lymm

I didn’t think we would beat the previous day’s total from our meeting at Rhyl (see last week’s post) but we did!  152 species for the day.  It was a record breaking meeting in other ways with an amazing 12 people turning up to meet me and go out botanising, including friends from not just Warrington Plant Group but the Flintshire BSBI group as well, not forgetting the BSBI Cheshire vice-county recorder.  Thank you to those who attended for all your contributions 🙂

Fumaria muralis ssp boraei photographed by Phil James, det Martyn Stead

Continue reading


Flintshire BSBI at Rhyl

You might not think that urban Rhyl would be a particularly productive place to go botanising, but you’d be wrong.  We scored 147 vascular plant species between five of us on our first Flintshire BSBI outing of the season, and fully one-third of those were in the car park at the train station!

Continue reading

Warrington Plant Group at Lumb Brook Wood 2017

Having explored the vascular plant flora of Lumb Brook Wood last year, we thought it would be a good place to record mosses and liverworts.  The site is mature woodland, is thought to be ancient at least in part and has the benefit of a stream running through it, so we thought it had lots of bryological potential.

Continue reading

Warrington Plant Group New Year Plant Hunt 2017

Untidy gardens and urban edges once again proved the most productive hunting ground for plants in flower on our New Year Plant Hunt 2017.  We met at the London Bridge pub in Appleton and headed west through the houses out into the fields and woodland edges around the village to see what we could find.  We found 25 species of which 13 were urban and most of the rest were in weedy field margins.  After a successful morning, we repaired to the pub for a warming lunch and celebratory pint.  Well done everyone, another good year for Warrington Plant Group 🙂

Ecological appraisal, Great Sankey, Warrington (2016)

It all sounded so easy on paper.  Nip round to Great Sankey, a couple of miles from home, do a quick Phase 1 habitat survey and then write up the report.  Bog standard, totally normal day at work.

Nope. Continue reading

Water vole survey, Lymm, Cheshire (2016)

It’s rare for me to work for private individuals and even rarer for me to do a water vole survey.  But this was quite a nice one to do – just a small job surveying a brook which formed part of the edge of a private landholding.  The landowners had noted that the bank of the brook seemed to be eroding and had commissioned advice on erosion control measures they could implement to prevent their garden falling away into the brook.  In places the brook bank was quite close to the house, too, so I understood how keen they were to get this sorted!

2016-09-07-16-12-07-800x450 Continue reading

National Bat Conference 2016

The National Bat Conference is exactly what it sounds like – an opportunity for bat workers to get together and talk about new research, new information and new opportunities in the world of bats.  It’s organised by Bat Conservation Trust  and this year the programme was exceptionally interesting, encompassing work on roost and habitat selection by individual members of bat social groups, migration of Nathusius pipistrelles across Europe and top tips on identifying vagrants to the UK such as Kuhl’s pipistrelle, which may turn up more and more often in the UK with climate change. Continue reading