Thursday, 15 May 2014

More Sanicle than you could shake a stick at...

It's so nice when a field meeting coincides with a golden May evening - the sunlight was just lovely as we assembled this evening... and so we went into the deep dark woods!

Piper Wood is an ancient woodland scraplet (records dating back to  C14th apparently) so it was hardly surprising that we found no fewer than 9 Ancient Woodland criterion species (from this Local Wildlife Sites list for Leics.).

Hannah, Jerry & Lamiastrum galeobdolon
Russell (co-ordinating this evening's meeting) did a great job getting us all into the woodland and not side-tracked by plants on the verge where we parked! We spent about 2 hours walking the circular track through the woods. Public access via a footpath so feel free to try the same walk yourself and see which plants you can spot from the path.  

Galium odoratum
Russell also filled in the recording card tonight and is typing it up for us - thanks Russell! - but from memory, we had a good 80 species including these criterion species: 

Anemone nemorosa Wood Anemone
Galium odoratum Sweet Woodruff
Lamiastrum galeobdolon Yellow Archangel (the real thing, not the garden escape/cultivar with those silver blotches)
Luzula sylvatica Great Wood-rush
Lysimachia nemorum Yellow Pimpernel
Millium effusum Wood Melick
Oxalis acetosella Wood Sorrel
Veronica montana Wood Speedwell
And we all agreed that we had never seen so much Sanicula europaea Sanicle in one wood. 

Dryopteris affinis
A couple of other nice finds were Carex remota and Dryopteris affinis - we had to look at last year's fronds to see the distinctive "black spot" where the pinna joins the rachis. 

Eleven of us out this evening - 10 botanists and Graham Finch, who did his own thing for most of the evening and will report back soon on his non-plant findings. Always good to hear what the Finches find. 

Nice to see Jerry and Richard again - I love the way we can all drop in to meetings as we please, even if it's been a year or two! Jerry pointed out some galls and has sent us this nice link, so we can compare old maps of Piper Wood.

Richard & Sam
Also great to meet new people - Sam has been on our mailing list for ages, but all the meetings have clashed until tonight. Lovely to put a name to a face at last! 

A very pleasant evening altogether :-) 

Posted by Louise and all pix by me. Bit less blurry than usual? 

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