Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Ulverscroft and Fineshade

Fineshade Wood, VC32
Image: A. Freeman
Two impromptu local botany meetings for you during the coming week, the first in VC55 and the second over the border in VC32.

We can visit Ulverscroft on Friday evening or on Saturday afternoon to look at some wet woodland (Alder carr) and the adjacent Herbert's Meadow, a LRWT site which is one of the most species-rich meadows in Leics. 

Both of these sites have been surveyed, so this meeting will focus on helping beginners see and identify plants typical of such habitats, rather than on recording. 

We can also look for Carex x sooi, the hybrid between Greater and Lesser Pond Sedge, see what its ligule looks like and consider why the hybrid is present here but not the parents. And there is no pond! 

The path past Fineshade Abbey
Image: A. Freeman
Nerdy but fun, and click on the plant name to see where it is recorded growing in Britain - that black dot in the middle of the country is Ulverscroft :-)

The Doodle link, so you can vote on which day you prefer for this meeting, is here. THIS MEETING HAS NOW BEEN CANCELLED, SORRY!

Alyson Freeman, who runs the recently-formed North Northants group aimed at beginner botanists, has invited us all to join her next Wednesday for a survey of Fineshade Wood, a Forestry Commission site in VC32 which I know supports some interesting species of fungi. 

Path through Fineshade Wood
Image: A. Freeman
Alyson says "As you probably know, Fineshade Woods are threatened by a proposal to erect 70 holiday cabins, affecting a large part of the woods. An ecological survey has been done, but we can probably add to the species recorded and to evidence that this is an important place for wildlife. Please meet at the main car park at Top Lodge – I think it’s £3 unless you have a permit. The Doodle poll is here - only one option, sorry!"

Hope to see you at one or both of these meetings and if you have botanist friends in VC32, please feel free to pass on details about the survey at Fineshade. Knowing which species grow at and around the proposed development site should give everyone the essential evidence so they can decide: is this a wildlife haven which should be conserved, or a nice place for some holiday cabins?