South-east Yorkshire, v.c. 61: News

News > 2019

Driffield Millennium Green (King’s Mill Bottom) TA015576

Geranium x oxonianum On 10 June 2019 I braved a day of drizzle to botanize the Driffield Millennium Green. We crossed part of this 8.5 acre site last year on one of our Local Group meetings but concentrated our effort along the tree line bordering the Keld. We missed (if they were there then) a swathe of 200+ Dactylorrhiza purpurella, 20+ D. fuchsii and 2 D. maculata - if there is any real difference between them! Courting controversy, I note that Dactylorrhiza is now Dactylorchis and fuchsii is now a forma of Dactylorchis maculata. One day the taxonomy will be worth committing to memory.

A total of 131 taxa were recorded, some of which are escapes from neighbourhood gardens. One interesting though not particularly pretty or photogenic plant was Thurston’s Crane’s-bill, the thurstonianum forma of the hybrid of Geranium endressii x Geranium versicolor (Geranium x oxonianum). G. oxonianum has been recorded before in the vice county, but not this pathetic- looking form.

Peter Cook, 11 June 2019

Paris quadrifolia re-found in a wood near Nunburnholme

Herb Paris flower Last year, following a tip-off from Rob Jaques and with permission to visit the part of this quiet wood not given over to pheasants, John Killingbeck and I searched and failed to find Paris quadrifolia. However, on my next visit with Jackie Guthrie on 5 May we did manage to locate 2 colonies of approximately 30 and 70 plants respectively along the same barely- defined path. A grid reference was taken for each. A few days later John independently found the 2 colonies.

Today, on our return to monitor the plants John and I were pleased to find the original 2 colonies had increased in size to 60 and 100 plants approximately (they are close- packed and difficult to count). Even better, in the same area we came across a further 2 colonies of 50 and 20 plants, also a tiny outpost of smaller plants not yet in flower. As the colonies were mostly close together we took GPS readings for greater accuracy. It was good news. Paris quadrifolia was spreading. Disquietingly, however, we also found tracks of some sort of extreme-terrain vehicle ploughing through the narrow corridor where our plants were located and where tree cover (Beech, Ash, Field Maple and Wych Elm) was not so dense. It looked as if someone had been careering dow the steep slope. John thought the Bluebells, Wild Garlic and Herb Paris would recover, unless the vandalism was repeated. A passing visitor identified the probable culprits. At the Easter weekend she had nearly been mown down by a group of 4-5 youths on quad bikes speeding down the path.

In view of the danger to the rare plants in the wood John and I resolved to enlist Jackie’s help in monitoring the Paris quadrifolia and, if possible, persuading the farmer to block the entry point with a log. We shall be keeping a close eye on the situation and monitoring plant numbers.

Gabrielle Jarvis, 23 April 2019

Book cover

Canals, Plants and People: a Yorkshire Perspective

This book by a local BSBI member, Ray Goulder, is about to be published by the People, Landscape and Cultural Environment Education and Research Centre. At £13.50 including postage.

Ray has worked extensively as a volunteer for the Canal & River Trust and has become increasingly focused on how the distribution and abundance of plants are related to the many ways in which people use and enjoy canals. In this book he explores how water plants in and alongside Yorkshire canals interact with human activity. Contents include: To obtain your copy download the order form here.

January 2019