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
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
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 🙂
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
The Dingle and Fords Rough are well-known woodlands in the Lumb Brook valley popular with locals. There’s even a tea room just up the road. We were there on the same day as a group of children splashing around in the river and learning about wildlife with a local ranger. Excellent outdoor fun!
Six botanists gathered to explore the flora – and splash around in the river 🙂 Continue reading
Despite the rotten weather, several plant enthusiasts still turned up to investigate the flora of Silver Lane Pools. It rained pretty much all day and was very early in the season, but we still managed to record about 85 plant species for the site, including some hairy sedge which wasn’t actually hairy – controversial !!
Target species for today was Preissia quadrata, a close relative of the ubiquitous Marchantia polymorpha:
From the BBS Field Guide
Preissia quadrata is rare in the Warrington area because it prefers calcareous rocks and soils, which we don’t have much of. The Mucky Mountains, though, have exactly the right conditions created by tipping of alkaline waste from the Vitriol Works through til the mid-1800s. 150 years later the waste has weathered and been colonised by all sorts of interesting wildlife. Continue reading
We had a successful trip here last year to look at flowering plants and thought why not come back to see the mosses and liverworts too? We went on to record 46 species of bryophytes, a new group best 😀
Species of the day was Zygodon viridissimus growing on the dam wall, but it was an especially good day for liverworts including Calypogeia arguta, Calypogeia muelleriana, Pellia endiviifolia, Pellia epiphylla s.s., both common species of Lophocolea, Cephalozia bicuspidata and two species of Metgeria !