Warrington Plant Group

Inspired by the example of North Wales Plant Group, I decided to start a group for field botanists in my local area. Warrington Plant Group is for you if you are interested in wild plants and wild places. We are a small friendly group of people who go out and record wildflowers in the summer and mosses and liverworts in the winter. The aim is to get outdoors, have fun, learn about plant ID and generate records to contribute to scientific study at our monthly meetings. Whether you are an expert botanist or just beginning, you will be very welcome. All meetings are in and around Warrington, Cheshire.

To join us on future meetings, read on!

wet woodland at the Bongs, Lymm

Warrington Plant Group meetings programme

All meetings are on Sundays and start at 10am unless otherwise advised. Please contact me for further information and joining instructions.

Bring your lunch, your hand lens, your favourite ID book and wrap up warm. Walking boots recommended, or wellies if you prefer, as the sites can be muddy. If we are enjoying ourselves we will stay out til 4pm, but if the weather is unkind we may finish earlier. You are welcome to just come for the morning if you like.

January 20th: Microscope day

A day to identify all those pesky moss and liverwort specimens with the help of your friends! Bring your specimens, your favourite ID book(s) and your microscope if you have one. 10am – 4pm, Chester Zoo.

Please email me for joining instructions: gailqb@hotmail.com

February 11th: bryophyte meeting, Daresbury

Meet at 10am at the Ring O Bells pub, Daresbury for a day out on the canal hunting our local rare moss species Tortula freibergii with Martin Godfrey.

March 18th: bryophyte meeting, Burtonwood Moss etc *MOVED TO SUNDAY*

Meet at 10am at the McColls on Fleet Lane, Parr (492 Fleet Ln, Saint Helens WA9 2NB). We’ll aim to explore as much of Parr Moss, Burtonwood Moss, Colliers Moss, Sutton Moss and Bold Moss as we can, focusing on open habitats to see if we can find any relict Sphagnum or other bog species. Group leader will be Phil James. Contact Phil at epiphyte17@gmail.com.

April 22nd: vascular plant meeting, Manchester Ship Canal

Last year we walked back from Norton Marsh along the Ship Canal and remarked that it would be an interesting site to revisit in the spring. Meet at 10am in the car park at Moore Nature Reserve for an out and back walk along the canal towards Wigg Island and the new Mersey Gateway bridge. We found all sorts of odd things when we last walked along here, so be prepared for weird and wonderful weeds! Group leader for this walk will be Lynne Healey.

May 12th: vascular plants meeting at Bewsey Meadows & Sankey Valley Park

A meeting to explore the flowering plants of Bewsey Meadows and Sankey Valley Park north. I can promise wild tussocky grassland, reeds, scrub and plantation woodland to amuse your ID skills. Meet at 10am at the car park just west of Sankey Brook – to get here, drive over the bridge at the end of Lilford Avenue, Bewsey (SJ592894). Group leader will be Gail Quartly-Bishop – I plan to come out for the morning, but may not be able to stay out all day depending on how my foot is doing – by then it will be 10 weeks post broken foot.

Sunday June 17th: vascular plants meeting at Neumann’s Flash, Northwich

This site is a series of flashes created by natural colonisation of lime workings. Easy paths in a figure of eight around the site and plenty of different habitats to explore. Meet at the Witton Mill car park off Old Warrington Road at 10am (SJ663747).

Sunday July 15th: vascular plants meeting, Frodsham area

A meeting to look for common cow-wheat and ferns around the sandstone outcrops in the Frodsham area. Meet at 10am at Beacon Hill car park, Simon’s Lane, Frodsham (SJ518765).

August 5th: vascular plants meeting, Rixton Clay Pits

Another chance to explore Rixton Clay Pits Nature Reserve, as we only scratched the surface last time ! Meet at the car park off the A57 just before Rixton village at 10am (SJ686901).

September 23rd: vascular plants meeting, Bold/Collins Green

Our proposed Fiddlers Ferry Power Station meeting has not been approved by the Site Manager, so instead we’re going to investigate a record of autumn gentian Gentianella amarella in the Bold/ Collins Green area. Meet at 10am at the small car park next to the playing fields on Gorsey Lane, Burtonwood (SJ560927) to explore the tetrad to the north-west (SJ59L). If the car park is not open, park in the village and walk up to the meeting point.

October 21st: bryophyte meeting CANCELLED

We’ll explore the bryophytes of Lumb Brook Wood, an ancient valley woodland in south Warrington. Meet at 10am at the layby on Dingle Lane, Appleton WA4 3HR (SJ626846).

November 18th: bryophyte meeting

A return trip to Frodsham to continue our search for the Killarney fern gametophyte and to hunt for goblin’s gold (Schistostega pennata). May be worth bringing a torch for those dark sandstone crevices !  Meet at 10am at the Beacon Hill car park, Simon’s Lane, Frodsham (SJ518765).  If this seems familiar, it’s the same meeting place as the July excursion to see the cow-wheat, and I plan to take more or less the same route 🙂

December 9th: bryophyte meeting

Meet 10am at Victoria Park, Warrington to explore riverside trees and urban parkland.

Dates for 2019 meetings:

December 30th, 2018: New Year Plant Hunt

Meet at the General Elliott pub in Croft at 10am to explore the village and see how many plants in flower we can find.  Pub lunch at 1pm, please let me know if you will be joining us for lunch so I can book for the right number of people 🙂

January 20th: bryophyte meeting

Meet 10am at Cedar House, Chester Zoo to explore the bryophytes of the zoo!  A huge site, so we’ll have Andy Jennings-Giles with us to help focus our attention on the mossiest places.

February 3rd: bryophyte meeting

Norton Priory TBC

March 10th: bryophyte meeting

Chat Moss area TBC

April 28th: vascular plants meeting

May 19th: vascular plants meeting

June 16th: vascular plants meeting

July 21st: vascular plants meeting

August 18th: vascular plants meeting

September 15th: vascular plants meeting

October 20th: bryophyte meeting

November 17th: bryophyte meeting

December 8th: bryophyte meeting

Please suggest a site if you think it would be interesting for flowering plants and/or bryophytes.
There is a Facebook group for Warrington Plant Group, so feel free to join us there too.