South-east Yorkshire, v.c. 61: Archive 2017

News > 2017

TA2047 - Urban Hornsea

Lenma gibba Much of Hornsea is situated within this single kilometre square but only about half is built-up, the remainder being public open space offering several different habitats each contributing taxa to a remarkable total of 240. We followed Atlas 2020 instruction to record long-established planted trees in open spaces and discounting these and surprisingly few garden escapes, the total is still outstanding.
The most productive site was the infrequently mown cemetery where curbed grave areas provided small gardens for an amazing variety of ruderal species of which Veronica agrestis was perhaps the most notable. Stream Dike was appallingly eutrophic but yielded up Lemna gibba [photo above - RM] admixed with L. trisulca. Deeper in the murk there was Myriophyllum spicatum with emergent Bolboschoenus maritimus nearby. A small marshy area with shallow pools behind the boat compound produced more L. gibba with L. minor and both Juncus bufonius and J. articulatus. At the low, moat end of Garth Park, marshy grassland yielded up both Glyceria declinata and G. fluitans, and Alopecurus geniculatus.
We took a back street between parallel cobble walls, the North-facing of which yielded up our local 'standard six' wall ferns and the grass Poa humilis. Polypogon viridis was found nearby. A grey-leaved, tall fleabane provided some homework to finally determine Conyza sumatrensis.
We lamented the absence of Gabrielle 'hawkeye' Jarvis who would have pushed our total higher had she not been stuck on a bus!

Peter J Cook, October 18 2017

Goosefeet ...

Goosefoot leaves A couple of weeks ago I was pleased to receive a list of vc61 plant records from Dr Katherine Glover. Among some very interesting and useful records was one which instantly grabbed my attention for several reasons. This was for Chenopodium ficifolium (Fig-leaved Goosefoot) growing on the demolished Ings Estate near Saltshouse Road, east Hull. It is a taxon that I do not recall having ever seen, would not be able to identify without reference to Stace and our only post-2000 record was from Cedric Gillings of a plant at Gristhorpe, only metres from the vc's northen boundary. Worse than that I had once lived, for 25 years, within a couple of hundred metres of the place.

I visited the site within hours and then returned, a couple of days later, to take samples from the great swathes of Chenopodium and Atriplex that luxuriated there. The above image shows scans of leaves from various plants.

A: Chenopodium album (Fat-hen)
B: Chenopodium ficifolium (Fig-leaved Goosefoot)
C: Chenopodium rubrum (Red Goosefoot)
D: Chenopodium - undetermined

Once I got my eye in it was clear that the C. ficifolium was abundant and probably more common than the C. album and C. rubrum. The leaves of C. ficifolium are very distinctive and I am now confident that I will not miss it again. … However, there were many plants which did not conform to the three species I could now identify and representative leaf scans are shown in row D. Is this just part of the natural variability of Goosefoot, a result of hybridity, or a fourth taxon (C. polyspermum)?

The site, best accessed off Middlesex Road, is well worth a visit and provides a wealth of interesting plants including Fumaria capreolata (White Ramping-fumitory), Senecio inaequidens (Narrow-leaved Ragwort), Nicandra physalodes (Apple-of-Peru) and Datura stramonium (Thorn-apple).

Richard Middleton, 25 August 2017

Tall Yarrow - Achillea distans

Tall Yarrow Credit for this find should be accorded to the late Mr Frank Kennington who, several years ago, reported seeing a, "queer-looking big yarrow near Welwick Saltmarsh". At that time I found plants that were not exceptionally bigger than yarrow, but certainly had paler green leaves like those of tansy in outline, but were more finely dissected. We agreed that it is probably just a 'sport' of yarrow and I thought no more about it until today, 1 July 2017. Looking through our Atlas 2020 progress maps I noted Achillea distans listed with only one record of the taxon, on West Hull Dock, 1938 (Ref Crackles' flora). I looked for descriptions and images of A. distans on the internet and realised that the Welwick plant is, indeed, A. distans. I took camera and Stace and re-found it scattered among sea couch and bramble along the track from Sheep-Trod lane to Welwick Saltmarsh reserve entrance at TA338191, over a distance of about 500 m. The tallest plant was 1.2 metre high but most were in the range 50 to 80 cm.

Stace says that our plant is subsp. tanacetifolia which correlates well with these plants, but I'd settle for Achillea distans.

Peter J Cook, 1 July 2017

Slender Knapweed - Centaurea debeauxii subsp. nemoralis

This taxon has baffled taxonomists for years. It is the fertile hybrid of C. nigra and C. jacea with all the problems of variations that can result from such a pairing. There are at least 14 different synonyms, four of which have been used to record local occurrences since 1946. For the time being, C. debeauxii subsp. nemoralis is the favoured combination. It was recorded by this name last year in 4 tetrads on Flamborough Head by David Broughton, and by me as C. nigra var. nemoralis near Cottam. In recent weeks I have found it at Haverfield Quarries near Welwick (TA31 and TA32) and near Garton (TA23). I suspect that close examination of knapweeds on dry sandy or chalky soils almost anywhere will yield up more records. For a good close-up photographic identification guide see The web pages. The CABI Invasive Species Compendium websitegives a very good account of the taxonomy, identification and differentiation from C. nigra. Happy hunting!

Peter J. Cook, 5 July 2017

Octon, TA07F

An opportunity to record in a square with no post 2000 attention and hopefully boost the hectad score to more than 400 was too good to miss on what turned out to be a nice day out. Most of the village's grassy banks and verges were mown mercilessly short but there was hedgerow, a little-used public footpath, some woodland and a road bisecting the tetrad offering easy access to field margins. A total of 126 mostly banal species was recorded. The best finds were some ferns on an old brick wall and some good woodland plants.

[ I can confirm that, by some strange statistical quirk, our Mapmate database thinks that we now have exactly 400 taxa for TA07! - RM]

Peter J Cook, 03 July 2017

Round-fruited Rush, Juncus compressus

Round-fruited Rush Extra special care has to be taken over differentiating Juncus compressus growing in a brackish habitat from J. gerardii. Several different texts were used to examine specimens of suspected J. compressus found on sandy mud bordering recently (3-5 years) excavated scrapes in the slack of the grey dunes behind Welwick Saltmarsh at TA 337191.

Although partially grazed by sheep so that estimation of total area was not easy, there was approx 0.5 sq m of loosely tufted rush, arising mostly from firm sandy mud but also mixed with young shoots of Bolboschoenus maritimus. Fruiting stems were 8 to 10 cm tall and conspicuous by their large, shiny, spherical fruit exceeding the perianth by about 1/3rd of the capsule diameter. Perianth segments are light brown (not dark brown as in J. geradii) and are broader and more rounded at the tip than in that species. Mature capsules are much darker than the perianth segments and the specimen in the photo is immature. The lower stem is round, not slightly 3-angled as described for J. gerardii in some texts, and is flattened below the inflorescence. The identity was confirmed in the measurement of the seeds which are less than 0.5 mm, and in some plants (e.g. photo) the lowest bract over-tops the inflorescence. Leaves are basal and flat in both species and glaucous in J. compressus. Note that J. compressus is also being found on road verges.

Peter J Cook, 2 July 2017

A serendipitous shot

Bee Orchid and Yellow-wort My son, Matthew, spotted a colony (swarm?) of bee orchids on private land in Keyingham, TA22, and took this photograph with his mobile phone. Unknown to him was the significance of the perfoliate plant adjacent to it. Yellow-wort, Blackstonia perfoliata, is always worth looking for near bee orchids - and vice versa - as they seem to be inseparable bed partners.

Peter J Cook, 20 June 2017

Italian Toadflax, Cymbalaria pallida

Italian Toadflax

Cymbalaria pallida was first recorded in vc61 growing in profusion along the base of an old wall in Withernsea (TA32N) earning a spot in Atlas 2000. Sadly the Council treated this population to a dose of herbicide a few years ago and it has not returned. I also found it on a pavement in Beverley (TA03J) but, for some reason or other, the record never got filed. A few more records have trickled in over recent years.

In July this year I was pleased to note several upright, non-spreading, toadflax plants with large (20 mm) flowers bearing a 9 mm spur, and a large white boss, growing from mortar between bricks on the outside of a garden wall and in the crack between the base of the wall and pavement on the North Promenade, Withernsea (TA32P). The leaves look succulent and glabrous but on closer examination they, and the calyx and stems, are clothed with a very fine pubescence. Together with the length of the spur this pubescence differentiates C. pallida from Corsican Toadflax, C. hepaticifolia.

The common C. muralis has not yet been recorded in about a dozen hectads for which we do have pre 2000 records. Although there is a prevalent mania for cleaning and re-pointing old walls, there's also the possibility that fewer of us have been botanizing them. There's still potential for picking up a few more 'spots' for Atlas 2020.

Peter J Cook, 13 November 2017

TA15R - Low and High Bonwick

On Saturday 7 October I chose to take a road between Skipsea and Bewholme that I had never travelled before. This took me through Low and High Bonwick which are blink-and-miss hamlets around farmsteads set in mile-upon-mile of nothing. I noted fields of stubble which are rare by October and stopped to botanize through their gateways and hedge bottoms, adjacent grassy road verges and ditches. I did not expect to find much (and didn't) until I stopped by a small field of pumpkins enriched by numerous species including a second record for Aethusa cynapium subsp. agrestis and a single 'rogue' plant of Chenopodium quinoa, probably persisting from a field margin sown with wild bird seed mix. At home I discovered that I had followed a North-South transect across TA15R, one of the most data-devoid tetrads in Holderness, and had managed to score a laudable 120 mainly banal taxa in October. One or more of Scandix pectin-veneris, Anthemis cotula or Euphorbia exigua would have been great to find but sadly not.

Peter J Cook, 13 October 2017

Wayrham - SE85

Betony The BSBI Local Group meeting at Wayrham turned out to be a rather low-key event with our numbers severely depleted by member's work and holiday commitments. Never-the-less Gabrielle and I managed to make a decent impression on tetrads I and P. Our efforts were augmented with lists for Fordeham Dale made the previous (very wet) day by Gabrielle and John K.

By coincidence, the lists for both tetrads ended up at about 100 taxa each, with similar but not identical plants. We found many of the familiar chalk favourites, Betony (above), Rock-rose, Dropwort, etc. but did not manage to record Clustered Bell-flower or Felwort.

Although we made good upgrades to the individual tetrad totals, our impact on the hectad was small - four new taxa raising the total to 429. Of the new plants, three where found in "Bradeham Well", a small valley-bottom pond; Glyceria notata, Potamogeton natans and Lemna minor the fourth Thlaspi arvense was found as a weed in a Phacelia conservation strip near Gill's Farm. Looking on the bright side, it does demonstrate that our sampling strategy over the last few years has been effective and we have managed to paint the big-picture!

Richard Middleton, 13 July 2017

Lemna minor / Lemna minuta

Duckweeds It is always worth looking closely at Duckweeds. The alien Lemna minuta (Least Duckweed) seems to be becoming rather common and widespread within the county and has probably been under-recorded. The above image shows a couple of fronds of Lemna minor from my garden pond (left) and a sample of Lemna minuta from a pond at Eastrington (right). At Eastrington the alien duckweed was completely covering the surface of a heavily shaded, lowland pond but only a week or so before I had seen it covering the surface of an exposed Wolds "dew pond" at Fordon. The small size of the fronds - generally arround 2mm - is characteristic.

Richard Middleton, 10 July 2017

Frog Rush sequel - Where from?

While looking for something else I found an article by M Wilcox in BSBI News 128 p 25 which puts flesh on one tentative answer to the question arising from my news item of a few weeks ago, i.e., where did the seed come from? It seems pretty obvious that the seed came in on salty water from car tyres but may also have arrived with the gravel used to surface the drive.

Mr Wilcox found Frog Rush on the verges of roads in 31 monads around Dent and Ribblesdale and in VC62 near Goathland. Local searches where we know Spergularia marina and Puccinellia distans to grow may be fruitful.

Peter J Cook, 21 June 2017

Kelleythorpe Marsh

Marsh Fern Our Local Group was pleased to have Mr Chris McGregor of Natural England accompany us on our visit to this Hull Headwaters SSSI making a total of nine persons. The marsh is sallow and alder carr on the floodplain of the river Hull and tributary chalk streams to the west of Sunderlandwick. It is a site that has had infrequent detailed botanical surveys, the last one being a National Vegetation mapping exercise six years ago, which included only cursory notes of notable field layer species. Within seconds of setting foot into an area recently cleared of sallow, we found tussocks of sedge. Historically there has been dispute as to the identity of tussock sedges at Kelleythorpe and this continues! We decided to refer to expert opinion and moved on.

Sedges were the talking point for most of the visit as we encountered several different ones not commonly encountered including Carex elata, and a tussock of putative C. diandra which is also to be checked. The area is also known for C. acuta and C. rostrata, both of which escaped our attention. This marsh is one of only two known stations for Marsh-fern, Thelypteris palustris, in vc61. So often we have to search for rare plants but here we were amazed to find ourselves in an area where the field layer was a sea of fronds interspersed with sedges and beds of Iris pseudacorus.

Our recording was confined to the SSSI and totalled 77 taxa.

Peter Cook, 15 June 2017

Tussock sedge, Kelleythorpe

14 June 2017

Juncus ranarius - an inland record

Frog rush, Juncus ranarius (or once J. ambiguus), is rare in vc61. This is due to the rarity of mud by brackish pools so recent records are for the outer Humber estuary in the Spurn area. Reference to current BSBI maps shows a scattering of inland records in England, though none yet for vc61.
 Recently I observed short (2-4 cm) tufts of a mahogany-coloured plant growing on muddy, compressed gravel in the back yard of a house in Keyingham, TA22. They were found where a parked car drips road-salt to form a pool of saline that slowly evaporates - a mimic of the natural habitat for J. ranarius. Many small plants were growing together where they could get a foot-hold between pebbles and present a tufted appearance. Closer examination revealed the distinctive truncate seed capsule, emarginate inner tepals with rounded tip and mucro, and brown colouration with red basal sheaths.
 I believe this to be the first non-coastal record for vc61 and suspect that it might be more widespread, indeed, it could be found anywhere where there is likelihood for pooling of salt water.

Peter J Cook, 10 June 2017

Hagg Wood revisited ...

In his earlier note Peter mentions the healthy field discussions which arose on our recent visit to Hagg Wood. The horsetail debate was to continue for some time by e-mail. None of us was happy with a simple solution and a consensus of hybridity was finally agreed upon - Equisetum x litorale being the preferred taxon. By chance the British Pteridological Society were conducting their AGM in Hull last weekend so Gabrielle volunteered to collect material which could be looked at by the experts. I am delighted to announce that Pat Acock has examined Gabrielle's specimen and pronounced our diagnosis to be correct.

This is the first vice-county record of this hybrid for some time. Now we know it's about we will need to take more care to record what is probably an overlooked taxon.

Richard Middleton, 28 April 2017

SE65W - Hagg Wood, Dunnington

Viola hybrids This tetrad is on the western outer limit of vc61 and is one of the last remaining target tetrads in a hectad predominantly within the adjacent Vice County and occupied largely by the City of York. It has a wide range of broad habitats including standing and flowing fresh water, marsh and rush mire bordering rides through coniferous woodland, arable fields and mixed species hedgerow. Bracken and Rhododendron understorey covered extensive areas of Hagg Wood in the eastern half. Highlights of the day included monoecious Nitella flexilis, our first stonewort record at Local Group meetings. A fallow arable field was notable for both Viola tricolor and V. arvensis with numerous sizes and colour combinations. The terrestrial form of Bulbous Rush Juncus bulbosus with its neat circular tufts; Bog Stitchwort Stellaria uliginosa with its elastic stele; violets prompting differentiation between V. riviniana vs. reichenbachiana vs. odorata; a horsetail emergent from water 'behaving badly' for both Equisetum palustre and E. fluviatile and leaves of Leopard's-bane Doronicum pardalianches each resulted in 'diagnostic huddles', and proved necessity to carry vegetative keys at least in Spring.

Five pairs of eyes recorded 170 taxa which is considered good for an early April outing.

Peter Cook, 13 April 2017

Asian Bittercress (Cardamine occulta)
- has it arrived unnoticed? - II.

On 26 April 2016 I produced a short article suggesting that C. occulta is worth looking for as a possible new invading alien species from mainland Europe where it is spreading rapidly in synanthropic environments. This attracted comment first from Dr Slenker (Czech Republic) and then from Michael Ristow at the University of Potsdam, both of whom are of the opinion that the plant I thought may be C. occulta is in fact C. flexuosa, giving reasons.

Whenever visiting local garden centres I now look out for C. occulta but have so far been unsuccessful. I also look in UK botanical literature to see if it has been recorded elsewhere but for reason unknown I actually missed reading an article by Drs Elizabeth Cooke and Steven Heathcote in BSBI News No 135, Pp 73&74. To save a lot of words I refer you to this article with its table of features differentiating C. occulta, C. flexuosa and C. hirsuta from each other, and photographs on the inner face of the back cover page. Anyone without copy please contact me.

So difficult it is to differentiate this taxon, which has some characters of either C. flexuosa or C. hirsuta, it has been informally called 'Asian C. flexuosa'. Briefly, European C. flexuosa is tetraploid (2n=32) whereas Asian C. flexuosa (C. occulta) is octoploid (2n=64), the former originating from C. hirsuta and C. amara and the latter from C. amara, C. parviflora (or unknown relative) and another yet unidentified taxon. Phenotypic plasticicity is therefore likely to cause confusion.

To answer the question, 'has it arrived?' - yes, it has been found as a container weed at a nursery in Coventry by Cooke and Heathcote in 2017. It had been bought in from a supplier in Norfolk. Like me, the authors of the BSBI article encourage close examination of Cardamine. They are happy to review specimens and pictures but warn that Cardamine taxa can show a large amount of phenotypic plasticity in response to environmental variables.

I agree with my correspondents that the specimen I used to illustrate my original article is C. flexuosa (European) based on a number of characters and is not C. occulta. I am also amazed that articles and notes on our Local Group webpage reach and attract helpful responses from such a wide audience.

Peter J Cook, 13 November 2017

Deepdale Plantation and Wintringham (SE87W,X and SE87R)

Testing the sky-mirror On this our last planned Local Group outing we were blessed with dry, warm weather and a good selection of broad habitats including arable and conifer plantation margins; the well-trampled path of the Wolds Way on chalk; chalk banks including unimproved grass sward on ancient earthworks; hedgerows and a chalk stream. An artist's interpretation of goodness-knows-what with a sky-mirror dewpond yielded only one decent record - Chara vulgaris var. vulgaris - and provided lessons on which species sown out of context can survive on an exposed chalk hilltop at 150 m. Well done Phacelia and Daucus.

Highlight of the day was a patch of Clinopodium acinos. Inula conyza was noted in several different locations but the real successes of the day lay in the numbers. The total number of taxa recorded over the three tetrads was 223 which is an excellent score for mid September. SE87W's total increased from two to 174 and hectad SE87 increased by 38 atlas spots to 378. Numbers were boosted considerably by the high number of woody species, thanks to John's observance.

Of wider botanical interest were the small rugs of the liverwort Pellia endiviifolia scattered on the flat, otherwise bare chalk on the path.

Peter J Cook, 21 September

North Cliffe Wood - SE83T

Seven Local Group stalwarts braved the elements to record on this Yorkshire Wildlife Trust reserve situated on Vale of York sand. The wood has old plantation oak and there are elements of Betula-Molinia woodland (NVC W4) evident throughout. A large area has been clear-felled to reveal a heath with Calluna, Molinia and regenerating birch controlled by grazing by sheep. Swampy areas within the woodland were notable for stands of richly-branched Calamagrostis canescens.

We endured a thunderstorm and prolonged heavy rain which hampered vision and note-taking but we still managed to score about 120 taxa of which 40 were new post 2000 records for the hectad. Polygonum hydropiper, Hieracium agg and Eriophorum angustifolium were good finds. Apera spica-venti, a very local grass in vc61, was found in an adjacent field margin.

Peter J Cook, 23 August 2017

Dipping a toe into rhodology

Armed with Roger Maskew's, "New dichotomous key to native and alien species of Rosa L." (BSBI News 135, pp 46-48) I took my first step into identifying roses with some interesting results. I chose a section of the dismantled Hull-Hornsea railway just South of New Ellerby in tetrad TA13U and found three different taxa. Once I had identified them in the field using the new key, I sampled them for cross-examination at home using G.G. Graham and A. L. Primavesi, (BSBI Handbook 7). Then I checked for prior record and was pleased that all three taxa had been recorded in vc61 before, albeit with alternative nomenclature, though not in Hectad TA13. I am happy to pronounce the following taxa: Rosa caesia x R. canina; Rosa squarrosa (Glandular Dog-rose) recorded previously as R. canina L. group Dumales, and Rosa canina L. (already recorded as R. canina Group Lutetianae or Group Transitoriae - these two groups are now 'lumped'). Under 'pre-lumped' nomenclature my record would have been R. canina Group Transitoriae, which appears to be the most commonly recorded Dog-rose taxon.
We have a lot of work to do on roses. I found this new key very easy to use and commend it. Secateurs and gloves are advised. Good luck!

Peter J Cook, 11 August 2017

Fumaria vaillantii

Few-flowered Fumitory In June 2011 Cedric Gilling found plants of Fumaria vaillantii (Few-flowered Fumitory) growing in set-aside at Fordon. It was associated with F. officinalis (Common Fumitory) and the Nationally and Regionally scarce F. parviflora (Fine-leaved Fumitory). At the time its identity was confirmed by Rosemary Murphy, the BSBI referee and Handbook author, and it became vc61's only record of Britain's rarest Fumitory. A recent visit to Fordon by the combined might of the Hull Natural History Society, Ryedale Natural History Society and the YNU Botany Section provided an opportunity to check on the taxon's survival. Having never seen the plant before I adopted a "shotgun" approach and collected representative samples from the spectrum of Fumitories growing in what is now a sparse rape field, with the hope of bagging a "vaillantii".

After a couple of hours with Stace, the BSBI Handbook and a microscope, I am now confident that we located all three of the Fumitories found by Cedric in 2011. The above composite picture shows individual flowers from (top to bottom) F. officinalis, F. parviflora and F. vaillantii. The larger flower of F. officinalis and the colour difference between F. parviflora and F. vaillantii is at once apparent. Confirmation of F. vaillantii is afforded by the minute stipule (barely visible on the photograph) and a bract less than half the length of the fruiting pedicel (not shown but it was there!)

The origins of this decidedly southern arable weed remain unknown but it was definitely thriving on this thin, dry, chalky soil in the company of the largest concentration of Ranunculus parviflorus (Small-flowered Buttercup) that I have ever seen. Other companions from our Rare Plants Register included Legousia hybrida (Venus's-looking-glass), Stachys arvensis (Field Woundwort) and Torilis nodosa (Knotted hedge-parsley).

Richard Middleton, 28 June 2017

SE64T - Wheldrake Wood

Geum After one of the driest Aprils on record and an equally arid start to May, we were treated to a restoration of nature's fluid balance. Despite the rain, four stalwarts (?) proceeded with the planned exploration of Wheldrake Wood in steadily deteriorating weather and although the conditions were not conducive to overt enthusiasm we did enjoy several hours of interesting botany; John's knowledge of forestry trees bumping up our list of conifers considerably. With the exception of some Marsh Orchids and a couple of plants of a steroid-fuelled Geum (provisionally identified as G. macrophyllum, see picture), we didn't find anything particularly exotic but with a total of over 130 taxa we were well satisfied with our expedition.

Richard Middleton, 19 May 2017

How many fingers?

Scan of Saxifrage Yellow may normally be considered the colour of Spring but for the urban botanist it is certainly white. The pavement cracks and corners are now full of small white-flowered plants which can look remarkably similar from a distance - Bittercresses, Thale Cress, Whitlowgrass, Scurvygrass, Shepherd's-purse, etc. Yesterday morning I encountered a dense patch of such plants on the corner of Charlotte Street and Grimston Street, Hull. Very closely crowded and low-growing I did not recognise them immediately so took a small specimen in the hope of Cerastium semidecandrum. Careful examination at home revealed fleshy spathulate leaves,a dense covering of red-tipped hairs and short blunt sepals - Saxifraga tridactylites. (picture - mm scale)
 Ironically, just before encountering the plants I been looking at a fine display of typical Rue-leaved Saxifrage only 100 metres away - the plants discovered last year by Gabrielle! The confusion arose as none of the plants in this new colony bore the "typical" (but clearly not obligatory) three fingered leaves.

Richard Middleton, 4 April 2017

Cyrtomium falcatum

Cyrtomium falcatum John Killingbeck and Gabrielle Jarvis have made an interesting discovery in Hornsea this month - Cyrtomium falcatum (House Holly-fern) growing with Asplenium scolopendrium (Hart's-tongue) on a shady wall. It would be very easy to overlook this alien fern which is a relatively recent addition to our vice-county's flora.

Richard Middleton, 14 March 2017