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
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.
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
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:
Three intrepid botanists gathered at Rhuddlan for an excursion taking in the old castle, fields, woodland, river and stream. We were successful from the outset, immediately re-finding milk thistle in exactly the same place as the previous record some 20 years ago.
This was a lovely meeting involving old and new friends and a trip to a most scenic castle. And some bryology 🙂
Sorry to say that I don’t have any pretty pictures, though, as I have been too busy recording plants on the two occasions I’ve been here!
We recorded 28 species (plus homework), all common plants of woodland in acid upland situations, it stayed dry and I think everyone had a nice time. Win. Species of the day was Pseudotaxiphyllum elegans because it was looking plush and lovely and on closer inspection had lots of the characteristic long filaments in the leaf axils – very helpful for ID.
From the BBS Field Guide
Here is a website with some nice pictures of the castle and environs to make up for my lack of photos.
We had a fun (if damp) day out at Rhydymwyn investigating the bryoflora of the woodland which cloaks the embankment on the western edge of the site. We found 26 species we could confidently identify 🙂
A very relaxed day out with the Flintshire recording crew, today consisting of Amanda and myself, Malcolm and Tom. We mooched around the lanes near Rhydtalog recording all the vascular plants we could find, chatting about many topics, refining our identification skills and generally putting the world to rights. Here’s a humungous stand of Polypodium ferns (with human for scale) which we suspect are hybrids but will be determined later when Malcolm has had a chance to inspect the spores under the microscope.
If you’re in Flintshire or surrounding areas and would like to come botanising with us, you’d be very welcome. Ideas for interesting outings would be even more welcome 😀 please visit our website for more info.