An hour long trek to a very remote part of Nottinghamshire for another day of botany et.al. and a very nice find to round it off. But we began with the routine bagging of everything we could spot and finished on 213 species of plant, 10 of butterflies and 3 moths; several Cinnabars and Yellow Shells plus a Silver Y.
A few days earlier I had done my butterfly transect and only got three species so ten on a rather blustery day suggest that the late May lull is over. They included our first Large Skippers and a Red Admiral.
Among the more notable for me at least, as I am a reluctant traveller these days so I don’t see plants that like light soils much, was BuglossAnchusa arvensis. Also-rans include Wild MignonetteReseda lutea.
Plant of the day looked like Herb Robert to me but Dave’s experienced eye suggested to him something different and a quick dip into Stace led us to Little RobinGeranium purpureum and there was lots of it.
There is only one previous Nottinghamshire record, made over 20 years ago near Worksop and its stronghold is in north Cornwall.
For interest, I heard via a devious route that Mike Hill has recorded Light Knot-grass at Netherfield. I understand this is the first record since larvae were found in the county in 1858 and 1897! Its ‘strongholds’ are Wales, NW England and northern Scotland.
By this time last year the sown wildflower meadow at the burial ground was rampant with False Oat Grass and hardly anything in the way of the desirable plants were showing. It seemed that the diversity had seen a relentless demise. Over the winter however, the neighbouring sheep had been allowed to graze and I only turned them out about two weeks ago at which time the only plants with any height were Nettles which have colonised some of the drier areas on the old ridges though the sward obviously held quite a diversity. Today I was delighted to see some of the introduced plants maturing and Ragged Robin, Hay Rattle, Hairy and Smooth Tare, Common Vetch and Bird’s-foot Trefoil for example were all flowering. It seems though that the once dominant Ox-eye Daisy and Yorkshire-fog are much declined and Soft Brome is now dominant.
The best thing though, as it indicates good grassland habitat was this Mother ShiptonEuclidia mi– I have only seen them before at East Leake Station and a few other places but it is nice to know that they have found Keyworth – I’m guessing it’s a first for the village in many decades.
This was a first for the village last year:
Bupleurum ovalifolium used to grow as a cornfield weed though it was very rare by the time of the ‘latest’ flora of Nottinghamshire (1963) when it was known from three sites in the county and it is now extinct as a wild plant in Britain. This plant originates from a sown or planted border nearby, whose parents had managed to jump the cultivation. There is I think, just the one plant, so it may be the last. It used to be called Hare’s Ear though the name Thorow-wax originates from 1548 when William Turner wrote that the “stalke waxeth thorowe the leaues”.