Saturday, 18 May 2013

BSBI VC55 Group at Aylestone Meadows Bioblitz. 

A good day at Aylestone Meadows Bioblitz today. We did a quick field count at the end and it looks like we recorded 185 plant taxa. A few were more difficult plants (like willows and sedges) that we need to check carefully to get the species - and we got some hybrids and naturalised garden cultivars, so we can't say 185 species. Taxa is a good word, if you don't want to be too precise!

Nice to see Sir Peter Soulsby, our Elected Mayor, at the LRWT stand, appreciating the contribution the Trust has made to nature conservation at Aylestone Meadows. As he looked at our poster (which you can view here), Geoffrey and I told him about the wildlife surveys that Neill Talbot had carried out at the Meadows last summer, helped by BSBI members like Uta Hamzaoui, Paul Stevens, Diane Mattley, Geoffrey and me, and the resulting LRWT report which you can see here.

Around a dozen grown-ups and children joined us for a wildflower walk through the Meadows and along the towpath, and there were some very sharp-eyed children - one was very good at telling the different speedwells apart, and another heroically rescued a frog, which was hopping into the busy carpark, and carried out a translocation to a more suitable habitat. Destined to be an ecological consultant, perhaps?

After the walk, we carried on recording and of course we visited the famous field with Eleocharis uniglumis - check its national distribution on the BSBI map here, and you will understand why jaws dropped and eyebrows were raised two years ago when this plant was recorded here for the first time.

Many thanks to Russell, Diane and Jack for all their hard work towards reaching our grand total, which will make a huge contribution towards the day's total. The specimens we brought home and the records we made will be properly checked this week and then go to Mike Jeeves, our VC Recorder, for scrutiny. Nothing dodgy gets past Mike so, once he is happy, we'll put the official total up here on the Blog of all the plant taxa recorded today at Aylestone Meadows.

Congratulations to Helen, Richard and the LCC team on a very successful Bioblitz!  

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