Under blue skies and in high temperatures, a motley collection of Beddington birders gathered for a botanical wander across our fair sewage farm. Johnny Allan, Peter Alfrey, Frank Prater and Keith Miller joined me in looking down, rather than up, for a few hours. We were briefly joined by Grant, Tank and the Prof.
Recent rain has given the vegetation a much needed boost, and there are parts of the farm that are virtually impenetrable, with chest-high nettles, mallow and hogweed making progress slow and tricky. However, our route around the south lake, along the stream, through the mounds to 100 acre, (via Pongo Park) rewarded us with a good mornings plant list. Highlights were Marsh Dock (a population discovered last year on a bed on 100 acre), Dittander (by the northern enclosed lagoon), Narrow-leaved Water Plantain (south lake), Fool's Watercress, Horseradish and Water Figwort.
The boys spent a great deal of time quizzing me on identification features of melilots, sowthistles, willowherbs and other confusing groups. Frank showed his increasing knowledge by putting me right a couple of times...
The Beddington SF plant list is coming along nicely. At the end of this year I will collate all the information that we are gathering and produce a 'half-term' report. I reckon we have a good couple of years left before a more definitive document will be ready.