South-east Yorkshire, v.c. 61: Archive 2015

News archive > 2015

Galium verum subsp. maritimum - new by promotion

There has long been known a variety of Lady's Bedstraw Galium verum var. maritimum that grows on sand-dunes and sea- cliffs. I have known it on the grey dune at Sammy's Point, TA3916, for several years and as a variety it has never been formally recorded in vc61. On receipt of the BSBI Atlas 2020 Notes on identification works etc. received this week I noted that this variety has been promoted to subspecies status after Sell & Murrell. In passing today, I stopped to collect a small voucher specimen. It is a dwarf, sprawling, prostrate plant with the leaves distinctly longer than the distance between whorls (internodes). The photograph does not show the whole plant but the leaf-internode length relationship is clearly visible. It is a plant worth looking out for.

Peter J Cook, 8 October 2015

Japanese Rose, "Sea Tomato", Rosa rugosa
on vc61 dunes

The alternative name, "Sea Tomato", is apt with the large luscious red fruits and love of growing by the sea. As a one-time denizen of Suffolk I often saw this plant apparently naturalized on dunes and sometimes on the beach as far down as the strandline. There is an old coastal record for Tunstall, presumably Sand-le-Mere, and a more recent one South of Bridlington. Over the last few years I have botanized all our scarce resource of dunes and now have records for R. rugosa from all of them between Bridlington and Spurn where, in each place, the plant seems to be comfortably at home spreading vegetatively and, at Easington with certainty, by seed. I suspect that our coastal plants arrived naturally as fruit in flotsam. They look determined to stay and hopefully will not spread and overwhelm dune integrity.
There are other scattered records for R.rugosa from across the vc. These occur possibly as a result of dispersal from gardens, in particular from public buildings, amenity and supermarket carpark borders where it is a popular shrubbery plant.

Peter Cook, 18 September

Fool's Parsley, subsp. agrestis, in vc61

Fool's Parsley While walking along a wheat stubble margin near Barmston, TA16Q, on 16 September I saw a patch of at least 50 small ~13cm) sub-erect umbellifer plants and thought it to be Shepherd's Needle until I saw the fruit. I'd read of the existence of several subspecies of Fool's Parsley so sacrificed a voucher specimen. Our usual plant, Aethusa cynapium subsp. cynapium, is erect and may attain heights of 1 m with its longest pedicels less than half the length of the bracteoles, and fruiting pedicels twice as long as the fruits. The taxon found here, A. cynapium subsp. agrestis, is very different in never being more than 20 cm high and with longest pedicels about the same length as the bracteoles and fruiting pedicels shorter than the fruits. The photograph above, though slightly out of focus, shows this fairly clearly. BSBI maps show this to be a mainly southern taxon although it has been recorded near to us in vcs 62 and 64.

Peter J Cook, 16 Sept 2015

TA24K - Cowden Range (East)

Combining business with pleasure gave me an opportunity to botanise parts of the cliff top strip of the disused RAF Cowden Range and the various grassland tracts on the East side of the boundary with TA24F. This very large area of essentially unimproved grassland was species poor yet yielded 98 species overall. The best records were of sea pearlwort (Sagina maritima) on the cliff edge, sheep's fescue (Festuca ovina) on bare soil and marsh ragwort (Senecio aquaticus) occurring in wet grassland with hairy sedge (Carex hirta). It was particularly notable that these and many other species occurred as single occurrences.

Peter Cook, 08 September

TA27K - Flamborough Head

While coastal habitat mapping on Flamborough Headland on 11 and 14 August I had opportunity not only to risk my life scrambling up and down the cliffs below the Fog Signal Station and High Stacks but to record on the relatively safe areas around the car park, light house and the environs of properties near the Headlands Cafe where I added Lesser Sea-spurrey (Spergularia marina) and Reflexed Saltmarsh-grass (Puccinellia distans) among several common ruderal species. The lowest accessible parts of the cliff slopes produced some good finds, notable among them Distant Sedge (Carex distans), Sea Arrowgrass (Triglochin maritimum) and Common Saltmarsh-grass (P. maritima) thereby re-finding some pre-2000 records and adding Saltmarsh Rush (Juncus gerardii) as a new species for Flamborough Headland. On well trodden turf on the coastal path near High Stacks I found a single small patch of Rough Clover (Trifolium scabrum) which was the only highlight on an otherwise disappointing day in dense fog on the 14th. On the two days I managed to add 55 new taxa to the existing list of 165 and promote it to the 'gold standard'.

Peter Cook, 16 August 2015

SE63D - Riccall

I started my foray on Landing Lane (named after the point where the Vikings arrived along the Ouse). Hedges were smothered in the pale flowers of White Bryony alongside the ripening berries; field corners and edges on a long path off the lane produced a number of arable weeds; a drain was full of Water-plantain. But for me the most interesting finds were Great Burnet and Greater Burnet-saxifrage, which we don't come across on the Wolds.
The riverside path is on a high grassy bank, where I found Autumn Hawkbit by the pumping station. Venturing down, crossing the low-lying area, where clumps of rushes marked the usually damper areas, I encountered a double conservation project. Tall wooden "boxes" at intervals contained Tansy plants (one box complete with the endangered irridescent beetles) or reeds (presumably grown to fill the gaps on the riverbank created by removal of Indian Balsam). On the wet mud by the river was tiny Marsh Yellow-cress and another plant I couldn't identify. But by far the most productive site for aquatic marginals was Gosling Marsh, particularly where tall reeds had been cut back. I only got to look at the tip of it. Should be worth another visit next year.

Gabrielle Jarvis, 13 August 2015

SE82J - Gilberdyke

Zig-zag Clover, Mallow

The fine weather this morning prompted me to examine the remaining unrecorded selected tetrad of SE82. The star-turn was undoubtedly Bellasize Lane, to the south of Gilberdyke, where a fine hedge, rich in Field Rose (Rosa arvensis) and intertwined with Black Bryony (Tamus communis), formed a backdrop to a verge containing Zig-zag Clover (Trifolium medium) - above left - and Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria).
There were a few other interesting plants but my lasting memory will be of the super-abundance of Dwarf Mallow (Malva neglecta) - above right - which seemed to line the north side of the B1230 through Gilberdyke. An interesting trip with a list total of 177 taxa, adding a further 28 to the hectad,

Richard Middleton, 3 August 2015

SE82Y - Broomfleet

Common Gromwell and Blue-sow-thistle

Three members attacked this unrecorded, selected tetrad and although access restrictions limited us pretty much to a single monad, we managed to notch-up a respectable total of 167 taxa - not bad for an area dominated by industrial agriculture.

Among the highlights was a single plant of Common Gromwell (Lithospermum officinale) - above left - tucked under a Sweet-briar (Rosa rubiginosa), only encountered thanks to a badly aligned sign-post. The village provided us with Common Blue-sow-thistle (Cicerbita macrophylla) - above right - and what will be the first official vice-county record for Caucasian Stonecrop (Sedum spurium).

These records, in conjunction with Rohan's list for Blacktoft, have added about 120 dots to the atlas for SE82 this year.

Richard Middleton, 24 July 2015

SE54V - Stillingfleet

Corn Gromwell

Sometimes things just go right. Three members of the BSBI local group and a YNU member from Halifax visited this, one of the most westerly tetrads of vc61. The weather was perfect and we had a blank slate with no post 2000 records in the database and the merest handfull of historical data.

The village green - a large meadow bisected by a stream - kept us busy for most of the morning with Ragged-Robin (Silene flos-cuculi), Sneezewort (Achillea ptarmica) and even Sand Leek (Allium scorodoprasum) being recorded. After a lunch in the sun (bench provided) we followed minor roads and field paths, accumulating a fine list of arable weeds including Henbit Dead-nettle (Lamium amplexicaule), Corn Spurrey (Spergula arvensis), Corn Chamomile (Anthemis arvensis) and the plant of the day - Field Gromwell (Lithospermum arvense) see image above. This latter plant was found in reasonable quantity on the margins of three fields, not bad for a plant considered to be locally extinct!

Our list for the day gave a grand total of 206 taxa - putting the tetrad into the "gold" category with a single visit.

Richard Middleton, 27 June 2015

SE64W - Thicket Priory
SE74B - Wheldrake Ings

Oenanthe silaifolia

I was asked by Yorkshire Coast Nature to lead a Botany Day on 21 June, visiting Wheldrake Ings. The walk took us through a small part of SE64W (a target tetrad) into SE74B in the Cottingwith part of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust's reserve. We had privilege of access for the day and I took the opportunity to record everything encountered in both tetrads.

We took a track southwards along the east-side bank of the R. Derwent where there was much ruderal and tall herb vegetation. We paused to look at Allium scorodoprasum, Carduus crispus and in an area cleared of scrub, Carex remota. Just beyond Thicket Priory the track led into SE74B and eventually to a recently cleared ditch in fen broad habitat with Lythrum portula (a rare species) on bare mud together with both Veronica catenata and V. anagallis-aquatica, Isolepis setacea and, conveniently for comparison, both Rorippa sylvestris and R. amphibia.

Spanning both tetrads however was the magnificent expanse of MG4 (foxtail-greater burnet) floodplain grassland with the highly prized Oenanthe silaifolia (picture) among a range of interesting herbs including Silene flos-cuculi, Silaum silaus and Hypochaeris radicata. Dried-out hollows, mainly in SE74B, provided finds including Ranunculus flammula, Oenanthe fistulosa, Eleocharis uniglumis, Carex nigra and C. disticha.

With a score of 131 taxa recorded on less than half the area of SE64W there remains scope to push this beyond the 'gold standard' on a second visit with urban, woodland and aquatic habitats not yet explored. The total of 117 taxa recorded for this very small part of tetrad SE74B included some noteworthy species.

Peter Cook, 21 June 2015

SE96R - Sledmere Grange

A bright sunny day was made even brighter by the surprise attendance of Janet and Bill Dolling and Jen Hunt complementing Gabrielle, Richard and myself. We discovered species-rich hotspots, the most spectacular being a field corner rich in cornfield plants including Legousia hybrida, Sherardia arvensis and Aethusa cynapium (picture). Both individual and collective rustiness was tested with a variety of yellow perils and our trek ended in Cottam Well Dale where Orchis mascula entertained and a yet unidentified minute sedge was found. An open chalk pit known to contain Galeopsis angustifolia was fenced off to all but the most agile of our number. It was a very good day for seeing rarely seen calcicoles and for the challenge of working on plants still not flowering. We scored a total of 138 records adding just under 30 new taxa to the list. However, we only managed to add 7 new taxa to the hectad bringing it up to 287.

Peter Cook, 10 June 2015

Herb Paris re-discovered

We were delighted to hear that Paris quadrifolia has been re-discovered in East Yorkshire - Ken White has found a thriving colony of this plant growing in a wood near Jeffry Bog. This is the first record in the vice-county this millennium and improves its status from "regionally extinct" to "rare".

28 May 2015, Picture Ken White,

TA05G - Wansford

Cowslips near Wansford

Although not the best time of the year to record the aquatics in the River Hull or the Driffield Canal, it was thought that an early visit may pick up some of the things that would be difficult to spot later in the season. Nothing of great consequence was found and the verges and drain banks were, for the most part disappointing. A notable exception was a grassy strip between White Dyke and the track to Cattleholmes, where Cowslips (Primuls veris), Oxeye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) and one or two other "better" plants were to be found. The ditch also supported Common Valerian (Valeriana officinalis).

The visit increased the tetrad total from 54 to 130 but only managed to add a couple of Atlas 2020 spots.

Richard Middleton, 25 April

Sium latifolium in Leven Canal

Greater Water-parsnip Dr Ray Goulder has re-found the Greater Water-parsnip in Leven Canal. The above picture shows a single plant at the canal edge near Sandholme Bridge. Also seen were Hottonia palustris (Water Violet) and Utricularia vulgaris (Bladderwort).

15 September 2015

Wood Small-reed 'at home' in Holderness

Wood Small-reed Calamagrostis epigejos (now epigeios) occurs in and around Hull in waste places near docks and on road verges. On the west side of the vice county it occupies damp woods, ditches and fens. According to descriptions in many sources these are the natural habitats for the species. It has also long been known as a grass of dune slacks and coastal grassland throughout the Baltic and N European coasts where it occurs with or near Marram and possibly in its natural association. What a pleasant surprise it was to find a substantial (5m x 5m) stand of C. epigeios growing seemingly 'at home' with Common reed Phragmites australis, Sea Couch Elytrigia atherica and Wild celery Apium graveolens on the slack of Marram dunes at the Beacon Lagoons Nature Reserve at TA413168. This find helps to substantiate a description of NVC S24 as one of many here that contribute significantly to their designation as Priority Habitat BH19 supralittoral sediment. In any case, this is a 'good find' to start the month.

Peter Cook, 1 September

SE72X - Saltmarshe

Oenanthe and Black Poplar An interesting visit to this little-frequented part of the vice-county. The most significant find was, undoubtedly, Hemlock Water-dropwort (Oenanthe crocata), seed head pictured above left, which occurred both on the river bank and in a ditch near Laxton. Again near the river bank was an interesting Poplar tree which, although undoubtedly planted, the burry trunk (above right) showed to be the native Black Poplar (Populus nigra subsp. betulifolia).
In all a list of 143 plants for this previously unrecorded tetrad.

Richard Middleton, 8 August 2015

TA26J - Flamborough, South Landing

Sea Carrot

This tetrad was well covered last year with 104 taxa recorded by May. I led the final Botany Day organized by Yorkshire Coast Nature as guests of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust's Sealife Centre, and used the opportunity to supplement our records database. Another 52 taxa were added.

Looking down from the cliff top onto species-rich slumps I saw dome-shaped (convex) umbels of what I excitedly recognised as Sea Carrot, Daucus carota subsp. gummifer and a specimen (see photo) was taken as I thought it would be a first vice county record. In fact Atlas 2000 shows a record for Filey. It is usually shorter (<25 cm) than Wild Carrot (subsp. carota) and has green rather than blue-green leaves which are more succulent and widely spread away from the stem. The rays are hispid, especially when fruiting. It also lacks the single central red-flower in the umbel.

Peter J. Cook, 3 August 2015

Bristly Thistle in TA22

Bristly Thistle

Bristly Thistle has already been recorded in VC61 as Cirsium arvense var. setosum (see Eva Crackles' flora). I have found a large patch of this among C. arvense and other tall herbs in an uncultivated area of a garden in Ottringham, near the disused railway station. It is very much different to C. arvense, keying out in Stace (1st edition) to C. dissectum on leaves and stems, but having multiple C. arvense capitulae borne on cobwebby stems. A full description is given in the Interactive Agricultural Ecological Atlas of Russia and Neighboring Countries. This may be worth watching out for. I have saved a specimen in Hb. PJC.

Peter Cook, 26 July 2015

TA31P - Welwick saltmarsh/Weeton bank

poached saltmarsh

This target tetrad had only 11 post 2000 records until I visited today. The flood defence bank broke through in the tidal surge of December 2013 and it has been repaired, evident by dominance of the list by ruderal species. More tragic however is the loss of notable species on the saltmarsh here and in the larger part the marsh in TA31J due to grazing by sheep. Large areas of the marsh are poached (Photo) and many of the species for which it is noted have been lost, probably only temporarily. It took a lot of time to find just small sprigs of a few saltmarsh plants to boost the total for the day to 109 taxa.

Peter Cook, 1 July 2015

TA07M - Fordon Banks

Frog Orchid and Marbled white

This SSSI is part-managed by Butterfly Conservation and is in the possession of a naturalist-friendly farmer giving open access over a superb range of chalk grasslands. It was visited on an organised Botany Day led by me on 26 June. The more insolated south-facing bank presented a mosaic of chalk grassland associations with Festuca ovina and Bromus erectus as dominant grasses and rock-rose the dominant herb. Felwort, Gentianella amarella , was infrequent but attracted a lot of attention. We then crossed a barley field heavily infested with Great Brome Anisantha diandra and walked its margin through both Valerianella dentata and V. locusta , Viola arvensis and V. tricolor ssp. tricolor before ascending a north facing bank to see Coeloglossum viride. Marbled White butterflies were just in the process of emerging. A total of 140 species were recorded, many of them already recorded for this popular site.

Peter Cook, 27 June 2015

TA27F - Thornwick Park Nature Reserve

Fumaria parviflora This site was visited on 26 June as part of one of Yorkshire Coast Nature's Botany Days. It is a new wetland reserve on Thornwick Farm Holiday Centre which is part sponsored by Wold Ecology Ltd. Much of the grassland area is naturally regenerated flora on compressed clay moved in the excavation of ponds. Low areas are impervious and encrusted with the cup lichen Cladonia fimbriata with scattered Blackstonia perfoliata and Centaurium erythraea representing a 'combo' ideal for bee orchid but, after much searching, none was found. However, looser bare soil was occupied by some scarce arable weeds such as Stachys, Viola and Spergula arvensis , and Fallopia convolvulus. Longer grass contained Dactylorrhiza purpurea, Koeleria macrantha betraying the chalky substrate, and both Vicia tetrasperma and V. hirsuta with abundant and sometimes luxuriant Trifolium campestre. The most significant find was Fumaria parviflora (picture). Not recorded was a suite of wildflower mix species and patently planted shrubs, and the complete list was reduced to those species not recorded on 18 April, pushing the overall tetrad total above the 'gold standard' of 200 with some notable finds.

Peter Cook, 27 June 2015

TA32I - Withernsea West

This non-target 'home patch' has been botanized several times over recent years. The square contains the disused railway track, now the Withernsea Millennium Green, with a Local Wildlife Site designation. Records submitted in 2015 are for areas excluding the LWS and include urban, playing fields, road verge, arable, freshwater pond and marsh, building site and cemetery broad habitats with inevitable repetition of some records from the LWS. A total of 228 species are on the 2015 list.

Peter Cook, 23 June 2015

SE96R - Cottam Well Dale sedge determination

On the 10 June Local Group excursion to SE96R I found several sedge spikes rising with a few 'wiry' leaves, hidden among Succisa pratensis and Pilosella officinarum. None of them was more than 4 cm cm tall and all 7 spikes examined were apparently all-male except for one or two with a single floret with a swollen utricle contained by a very dark glume (see photo). My immediate thought was Carex dioica, which can bear female spikelets on male plants, but is highly improbable in this plant association. The dark female glumes together with absence of bract raised the possibility of C. ericetorum. Next thought was depauperate C. caryophyllea but with 'wiry' leaves? - not really. Examination of a single wiry leaf in situ showed 3 veins which is a key diagnostic feature of C. dioica and I realized I was going round in circles. Clearly, some forensic botany was needed to identify this plant with certainty and a few leaves with basal sheaths and a single spikelet were taken home for microscopy. Transverse sections of wiry leaves showed them to be dry and tightly in-rolled flat leaves. A section of one leaf showed 5 veins with a strip of nothingness over the central vein which is a C. caryophyllea characteristic. Examinations of bits of dead basal sheaths and finding a faint scar where the bract had broken away supported this conclusion.

Spring sedge (C. caryophyllea) is usually very much larger and more conspicuous than this with large male spikes that look shaggy with numerous anthers or remnant filaments, and distinct female clusters beneath. This minute, 'clean-shaven' spike certainly defied field identification on this occasion but I'll be ready next time!.

Peter Cook, 11 June 2015
Photo courtesy Jen Hunt

SE67T - Menethorpe

Cardamine and Valeriana

This BSBI Local Group meeting was timed to coincide with the YNU's visit to the YWT reserve at Jeffry Bog, much of which is in this selected tetrad. It provided a good opportunity to examine this rich area on the north-west boundary of the vice-county. We encountered many plants which are, for us, rare or scarce including Cardamine amara (above left), Valeriana dioica (above right) and Stellaria nemorum.

A very pleasant and rewarding day botanising, which raised the tetrad total to 164 and added over 50 records to the vc61 part of this hectad.

Richard Middleton, 16 May 2015

SE97B - West Heslerton Wold

Sanicle leaves

It was evident, on arrival, why we had no post-2000 data for this tetrad. Road verges and hedges are fussily managed, crop margins and hedge bottoms sprayed with herbicide and there is very little woodland and no standing water to speak of on this high, open chalk Wold top. However, there were some treats in store for us as we progressed along the few long access routes open to us. A strip of larch and ash plantation over some ancient earthworks had Sanicula europaea (above). This is not a rare plant in vc61 but it is rare to see it as the dominant ground layer. Later, after a long and uneventful walk, we took a bridleway which conveniently bisects the tetrad. This yielded only a few banal species, mainly ruderals in a field entrance. We were close to despair with still fewer than 100 species on the card when we found a roadside hot-spot teeming with chalk grassland species including Campanula rotundifolia, Cerastium arvense, Centaurea scabiosa and Silene vulgaris. We had to return via the same route whereupon Gabrielle spotted several plants of Veronica polita. There is a cluster of old records in this region of the Wolds and it is good to have another post-2000 record for this RPR species. We scored a laudable 108 species including 20 new hectad records between the three of us. The list lacks many species we would expect to find and it is thought that another visit at least to the accessible hot spot will be fruitful.

Peter Cook, 29 April 2015

In Brief

SE74U - Barmby Moor
A total of 80 species was recorded in Barmby Moor, St Catherine's churchyard, mainly from on and around gravestones, and in the adjacent lane.
Peter Cook, 15 October 2015

SE74Z - Pocklington Airfield
Business on the Pocklington Airfield Industrial Estate enabled some brief botanizing on a few open spaces in SE74Z with a score of 52 species. Although situated in a non-target tetrad this industrial site has potential to yield a significant list and some interesting additions to an already impressive hectad total.
Peter Cook, 15 October 2015

TA32J Owthorne/Waxholme
A few days miss-spent on the urban streets, caravan parks, tracks, cliff-top and arable field margins to the north of Withernsea on various occasions through this year has yielded a respectable score of 179 species for this non-target tetrad.
Peter Cook, 15 October 2015

TA41C - Kilnsea Canal
A stroll along the Humber bank and its silted up borrow pit between Sammy's Point and the hotel at Kilnsea yielded only 14 additional records for this target tetrad, raising the total to 175. A significant find was a new site for the rare Sea Rush Juncus maritimus, which is now known to occur at three different locations in TA41C, but nowhere else. The hybrid restharrow Ononis x pseudohircina was re-found with both parents not far away and remnants of Narrow-leaved bird's-foot-trefoil Lotus glaber were noted.
Peter Cook, 8 October 2015

TA07P - Flixton/Folkton
With only 11 taxa in the database, taken from grassland survey quadrats on 13 August 2012, supplementary records noted from the village hall car park at Flixton and on the steep climb up to the wold brow added only a further 56. There is very little accessible habitat in this square and it will be hard work to push the tetrad total to more than 100, and contribute to the TA07 hectad total.
Peter Cook, 24 Sept. 2015

16S - South Bridlington (again!)
Survey of a small area of dune yielded 38 taxa in May this year and survey again with extension to Wilsthorpe and excursion into open, disturbed soil on the cliff top yielded a total of 112 taxa with expectation of boosting the hectad total.
Peter Cook, 23 Sept. 2015

TA16R - Wilsthorpe
This is not a target tetrad but 90 taxa, some of which may contribute to the hectad total, were recorded on a 100 m x 25 m strip of very eroded dune system between the beach and the low cliff top. Again, Rosa rugosa was noted in another coastal tetrad.
Peter Cook, 23 Sept. 2015

TA15U and TA16Q - Barmston
Land straddling the boundary of two tetrads produced lists of 57 and 56 taxa respectively including Japanese Rose Rosa rugosa naturalized on the sand dunes and Red Goosefoot Chenopodium rubrum in reedbeds in both tetrads. The best find was a Fool's Parsley taxon, Aethusa cynapium subsp. agrestis, found in wheat stubble in TA16Q.
Peter Cook, 18 Sept. 2015

TA24C - Rolston
Bill and Janet have provided an impressive list of 160 plants for this unrecorded, selected, tetrad. This adds 32 spots to Atlas 2020.
3 September 2015

TA06A - Driffield Wold
A list from Bill and Janet Dolling has added 106 records for this unrecorded, selected, tetrad. A seemingly modest total but accurately reflecting the area's low diversity. Never the less 9 new atlas spots were added to the hectad.
3 September 2015

SE84G - Thorpe Whin
A list from Rohan Lewis and Gabrielle Jarvis has rasied the total for this selected tetrad from a measly 1 to a very respectable 140.
12 August 2015

TA21J - Stone Creek
A walk along the embankment on the western (upriver) side and forays into the saltmarsh yielded twelve extra species for the tetrad. These were, in no particular order: Torilis japonica, Angelica sylvestris, Mycelis muralis, Valeriana officinalis, Plantago maritima, Limonium vulgare, Atriplex prostrata, Spartina anglica, Glaux maritima, Vicia sepium, Sonchus arvensis and Helminthotheca echioides.
Bill & Janet Dolling, 8 August 2015

There is still a lot to do along the Humber saltmarshes and in the borrow dykes and berms - would anyone like some September Local Group meeting to do the eastwards stretches from Stone Creek and/or westwards from Welwick pump? Peter Cook

SE76Q - Leppington
We made a flying visit to this untouched selected tetrad today while on the way for lunch in Kirkham. We only had chance to look at the north-west monad but managed to notch up 115 taxa in little over an hour. The best finds were probably Pepper-saxifrage (Silaum silaus) and Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria) found, along with one or two other interesting plants, on a pocket-handkerchief sized patch of verge. Another visit is needed to this tetrad, preferably a little earlier in the year.
The local group's recording efforts on SE76 have already added 95 new atlas spots this season.
R. & K. Middleton, 31 July 2015

TA41 - Easington Seaside
This selected tetrad of only 1.5 monads land area had a lot of coverage last year with surveys of urban and caravan park areas and the species-rich dunes, which yielded a very respectable 165 taxa for such a small area. I felt that I had not given enough time to small areas of arable, road verge and hedgerow habitats which was evident in the absence of some banal species. A walk yesterday added 18 new taxa to the list taking it tantalizingly close to the gold standard of 200 taxa.
Peter Cook, 27 July 2015

SE82M - Blacktoft
A visit to this selected tetrad by Rohan Lewis has added 120 plants to this previously under-recorded square. Of particular note was a single plant of Lotus tenuis. Total now 132.
23 July 2015

TA14C - Leven
Previously standing at 155, the list for this selected tetrad has been extended to 203 by an evening visit to the canal and village.
Richard Middleton, 22 July 2015

SE94P - Middleton-on-the-Wolds
Rohan Lewis' recent visit to this selected tetrad has add 99 new taxa to the list. 22 new taxa were added to the hectad total.
20 July 2015

TA02T - St Andrew's Quay
A list contributed by the Hull Natural History Society has added a further 30 taxa to this selected tetrad pushing it into the "gold" category.
8 July 2015

SE86N - North Grimston
As impressive list from Gabrielle Jarvis has more than doubled the number of taxa recorded for this tetrad taking it comfortably into the "gold" category at 212. Almost 30 new taxa were added to hectad SE86, the total now standing above 400.
6 July 2015

SE95X - Southburn
A network of paths leads one from farm buildings through shelter-belt plantation to field margins alongside arable crops and willow biofuel stands to a small area of fen and marsh on the R. Hull Headwater SSSI. Here Glyceria declinata and Stachys palustris were the best finds. A total of 144 banal ruderal, field margin and tall-herb species was recorded in a route entirely within this non-target tetrad.
Peter Cook, 27 June 2015

TA03E Westwood
A list from Rohan Lewis for the area near Swadgery Mere Wood has raised the number of taxa for this tetrad by over 40 taxa, giving a new total of 140. It also added seven to the hectad total which now stands at an impressive 630.
Richard Middleton, 23 June 2015

TA16T Bridlington
I took advantage of the warm weather this morning to attempt to improve the total for this selected tetrad; three hours searching managed to increase the total from 75 to 163. Not quite the "gold" standard but probably a reasonable indication of its diversity.
Richard Middleton, 4 June 2015

SE87X East Knapton
Kath and myself visited this selected, but unrecorded, tetrad today and managed to discover 135 plants. Nothing particularly special but plenty of Cerastium arvense and a little Filipendula vulgaris, Helianthemum nummularium and Polygala vulgaris along the Wolds Way.
This modest recording session added 30 new atlas spots.
Richard Middleton, 30 May 2015

SE93E - Sancton
A visit to this area by the East Yorkshire Botany Club has raised the tetrad total to 221, promoting it to our 'gold' standard

SE96K - West of Sledmere Monument & Black Wood
Less than one hour of recording was crammed into a dog walking session along the track leading West to Black Wood, in this non-target tetrad, taking in rank and tall-herb trackside flora and some arable (wheat) margins. A total of 95 species was recorded. In Black Wood, wood forget-me-not Myosotis sylvatica occurred in profusion with varieties with flowers ranging from all blue, all white and all pink flowers and also many plants with first-opened flowers of the corymb in blue and later-opened flowers pink suggesting origin as an alien escape rather than 'true native' origin. (PJC)

TA22Y - Winestead High Wood
A brief call-in at a location known for Rhododendron ponticum, Athyrum filx-femina and Anemone nemorosa yielded a respectable 54 species in less than ten minutes in a bid to raise the hectad score to more than 500. (PJC)

TA22U - Roos Bog and adjacent arable
This geological SSSI, a kettle-hole, was visited in 2002 accompanying entomologists. A total of 78 plant taxa was recorded, the notable being Scutellaria galericulata and Carex rostrata. Adjacent arable field margins were typical of intensive agricultural practice although a grassy buffer zone around the bog provided some diversity. (PJC)

TA32E - Rimswell
This non-target tetrad is visited frequently on dog-walking jaunts and has been recorded quite thoroughly to produce a respectable 175 taxa. (PJC)

TA16S - Bridlington Bay South
A small area of sand dune alongside the Bridlington Park-and-Ride carpark was the source of a list of 38 taxa including sea mouse-ear Cerastium diffusum. (PJC)

TA22S - Ottringham Village
Time spent waiting like a pregnant father for the car MOT test to finish was passed wisely recording in the village of Ottringham where waste ground near both village halls and the churchyard, road verges near the bus stop and small areas of open ground yielded a respectable score of 97 species. Most notable was a single Asplenium ruta-muraria on the wall of St Oswald's Church, Hordeum murinum at the bus stop where the species is very often found and several Epilobium tetragonum plants with Urtica urens on fine rubble near the old village hall. (PJC)

TA23V - Roos Village
This non-target square has been botanised on several occasions over the years with many records noted on visits to resident family and friends. A total of 178 taxa have accumulated, most of which are banal. (PJC)

New data for the Hollicarrs Wood area, provided by David Broughton, has added over 20 new atlas spots.
18 May 2015

TA23P - Aldbrough
A list from Bill Dolling has added 23 new plants to the tetrad list bringing the total up to 131.
18 May 2015

TA41B - Chalk Bank, Spurn
Data from Peter Cook's 2000 report on the site has been added to the database, boosting the tetrad total to 106 from 44.
1 May 2015

SE85G - Millington Wood
The combination of a list contributed by the East Yorkshire Botany Club and a list for 2010 that Peter found "down the back of the sofa", has boosted the tetrad total to a useful 182.
24 April 2015

Records contributed by Rohan Lewis from a walk in the area have increased the totals for SE95C to 91 and SE95G to 56. The hectad total now stands at 278, an increase of seven atlas spots.
23 April 2015

TA27K - Flamborough Head


A very useful visit by the Hull Natural History Society has boosted the tetrad count from 114 to 165, adding 18 new atlas spots. Nothing spectacular but it was good to see Primroses (Primula vulgaris) in such great profusion on the upper slopes of the north facing cliffs. An important observation was the colonisation of the upper, south facing, cliffs in TA26P by Wallflower (Erysimum cheiri) - which was, surprisingly, the first post 2000 record for this taxon in the vice-county.

Richard Middleton, 9 May 2015
picture A J Chadwick


Local interest in stoneworts has been very limited over the last century. There were records for only 8 species in Robinson's Flora (1902) and none in Crackles (1990). The only formal record has been in a series of 10 notes published in Bulletin of the Yorkshire Naturalists' Union by Albert Henderson either alone or jointly with me. The last one of these was in 2008. In 2000 I started a database of historical and modern records for stoneworts and now I have a collection of 117 of which 75 are post 1999 reflecting an obsessive personal interest and help from keen-eyed helpers. Some of these may be repeat observations in the same or near locations but these plants may disappear at a site and reappear after many years. I am unaware of any other work on stoneworts in the vice county or of records submitted to national, BSBI or local biological records. This is yet to be researched. I am indebted to Cedric Gillings, Ray Goulder and Martin Hammond for sending me specimens over the last 15 years. Some of these have been memorable for example Ray Goulder's finding of Nitella translucens in the Pocklington Canal, the first record since Waterfall's at Barlby in 1900; and Martin Hammond's finding of Tolypella intricata near Thixendale, the first record since Waterfall and Robinson's find at Dunswell in 1901.

As with many plants there are seemingly seasonal changes in nomenclature but I have settled on using the Characeae Checklist published by Bryant, Stewart & Stace published in Watsonia 2002; 24(2):203-208. There was no loss or gain of taxa in my records-base by 'splitting' or 'lumping' under this current nomenclature, which I hope has now stabilized and is compatible with Mapmate.

Peter Cook, 6 May 2015

TA26E - Dane's Dyke
TA27F - Flamborough

The target tetrad TA26E already had a records base from a recent field meeting but was thought to be a worthy venue for a Spring Local Group gathering to both enjoy a reasonably species-rich woodland in Spring and boost the total with vernal taxa. The three of us succeeded in increasing the total to 192 and had we strayed into Sewerby we might have pushed the total beyond the gold standard of 200. Highlight taxa were few in number, however, a patch of distinctly different Veronica hederifolia was determined by three different characters (anatomical, not human!) to subsp. lucorum and leaves of a yet-to-flower plant caused some debate centred around Actaea or Chelidonium, but was later agreed to be Meconopsis albeit in a strange place. We found plenty of lesser celandine to compare and contrast vernus and fertilis but we left as a task for another day determining a fern beyond Dryopteris affinis agg. Blinks Montia fontana on some bare soil in wet grassland was a nice find and a mature Griselinia littoralis growing as a specimen tree was a species new to our collective experience.

Although TA26J was the planned square we moved instead into TA27F, another target square which is almost entirely built-up. We found all road verges and green spaces, including the churchyard and cemetery, obsessively-compulsively shaved to within a micron of existence and the space around and under street furniture sprayed with weedkiller. However, searching among the ubiquitous patches of daffodils and under hedges and fences we found plants managing to evade stressors and boosted the tetrad total to 162, and we applaud them for their tenacity. The highlight species were Lamium aplexicaule growing in a pavement crack under a wall and Parietaria judaica on numerous walls. We returned to our cars and were asked by a lady to move them so that she could cut her grass. In the two hours of our survey, 'her' grass had grown fractionally taller than her neighbours'! We added 43 new atlas spots.

Peter Cook, 18 April

SE83E - Holme-on-Spalding-Moor

Pink primroses

Despite the cold wind and optimistically early date, we set off along the old railway from Harswell station and were soon rewarded with a display of spring flowers which seemed to indicate that the line had cut through an area of now-vanished woodland. An interesting find was a patch of pink Primroses (Primula vulgaris) on a drain bank well away from the village. A loop through Holme increased the list considerably - one of the highlights for me being the Black Spleenwort (Asplenium adiantum-nigrum), a plant once regarded as uncommon in the vice-county.

A profitable excursion which boosted the tetrad total from one to 115.

Richard Middleton, 23 March