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

News > 2023

Plant records

I am happy to receive record by email, and need as a minimum the date, and the location of the record, preferably as an OS grid reference. The database accepts 4-, 6- or 8-figure grid refs, though the last would only be for those using a GPS system. Additional info in the form of habitat, status of the plant e.g. if likely garden escape or planted and quantity is useful.

Rohan Lewis, 7 June 2021

Etton-Gardham August 16th

We surveyed 3 kilometres of this disused railway line, owned and managed by East Riding Council as a Local Wildlife Site. It has the Beverley to Market Weighton cycle path running down the centre of it, and appears to be in good condition, with a range of chalk grassland species including a small population of the Hawkweed Oxtongue Picris hieracioides. Some recent planting of specimen trees was noted, but the embankments and cuttings are mostly covered by natural scrub, amongst which were two specimens of Purging Buckthorn Rhamnus catharticus. Insect life was noticeable, including eleven species of butterfly.

Rohan Lewis

Whitekeld Dale June 21st

Whitekeld dale This dale covers two monads, and has very few plant records. It belongs to Halifax Estates, who gave permission for our survey. We explored the Western side and bottom of the dale in monad SE8253, and found the grassland heavily dominated by Tor-grass Brachypodium pinnatum and lacking diversity (photo). However a large natural spring-fed pond in the far north of the monad supported a good variety of aquatic plants, including Bogbean Menyanthes trifoliata, Marestail Hippuris vulgaris, a Water-Crowfoot, probably Ranunculus aquatilis, Brown Sedge Carex disticha, and Common Spike-rush Eleocharis palustris.

Rohan Lewis

Kirkham Park and Riverside SSSI June 8th

Fox Sedge This large SSSI includes woodland and meadow on both sides of the R Derwent, with the West bank being in vc62. With the permission of the landowner, Mrs Henson, and of Natural England, we attempted a survey of the larger East Bank (vc61) section, and covered the meadows at the southern end and the adjacent wooded slope. We did not reach the area where there is a record of True Fox-sedge Carex vulpina, but John Scott saved the day by bringing his own specimen of this plant from a S Yorks site (photo), and demonstrating the broad, truncate ligule which distinguishes the species from C. otrubae. Kevin Walker from BSBI also joined us, specifically to chase down an old record for Baneberry Actaea spicata, but without success.

We hope to return next year to explore further.

Rohan Lewis

Welwick Saltmarsh August 31st

Only the western end of this extensive YWT reserve was covered, including the small area of sand dune behind the old sea embankment known as Welwick Bushes.

For some members of the group, this was their first introduction to saltmarsh flora, dominated as expected by Glasswort, Salicornia europaea, Annual Sea-blite Suaeda maritima, Saltmarsh-grass Puccinellia maritima and Cord-grass Spartina anglica. The drier areas had more species, but we failed to re-find Sea Wormwood Seriphidium maritimum or Sea Sandwort Honkenya peploides.

Welwick Bushes was more overgrown and lacked many of the annuals documented in 2011 and 2015. Recent construction of a new sea defence wall has changed the access route to the reserve, and inland of the new wall some freshwater ponds have developed, in which we noted the presence of Water-crowfoot Ranunculus aquatilis, Yellow Loosestrife Lysimachia vulgaris and the Stonewort Chara vulgaris.

Rohan Lewis

Potter Brompton July 13th

Roemeria argemone Careful searching of four large sandy fields to the east of the village yielded Night-flowering Catchfly Silene noctiflora (top photo) and Prickly Poppy Roemeria argemone – the latter not easy to see, as the petals had fallen and only the prickly capsule remained (bottom photo), as well as the grasses Squirrel-tail Fescue Vulpia bromoides and Dense Silky-bent Apera interrupta. The Middlewood family, who farm these infertile fields, do so with regard to the flora; they fortunately have another source of income from their tearoom beside the A64 in the village.

Rohan Lewis
Photographs Helen Kitson

Londesborough Estate Woods May 24th

Wet meadow near Spring Wood With the permission of landowner Mr Ashwin, we surveyed two woods on the estate which had been designated as Local Wildlife Sites on the basis of their ancient woodland flora.
Pond Wood, a mixed plantation of Beech, Sycamore and Ash with a scattering of other species, was found to be overrun with nettles. Among ancient woodland plants recorded in the 2007 designation, only Wood Speedwell Veronica montana was at all frequent. Despite prolonged searching, only single plants of Remote Sedge Carex remota and Giant Bellflower Campanula latifolia were found.
Spring Wood , surveyed more briefly, proved less overgrown, with good populations of Lady Fern Athyrium filix-femina and Three-veined Sandwort Moehringia trinervia. A small area of wet grassland (photo), to the south of Spring Wood but included in the LWS, yielded 41 species – compared to 51 for the wood itself.

Rohan Lewis

Jersey Cudweed
Laphangium luteoalbum in Hull

Jersey Cudweed In October 2023 Dr Africa Gómez discovered a colony of this nationally rare plant growing in Sculcoates, Hull.

Image Richard Middleton

Grass Vetchling-

This item is from the website of the Hull Natural History Society, with permission

Grass Vetchling flower Yesterday morning I visited the Argyle Street brownfield site which I know as the KC stadium railway triangle. Before I left, I did a bit of litter picking, and whilst doing this I found a pretty little vetch of unusual colour. I took a photo and used iNaturalist for identification and it came up with Grass Vetchling. At home I looked it up and there were no vc61 records so I doubted this identification. I met Gabrielle at Argyle Street this morning to show her. She was happy to confirm that it was Lathyrus nissolia, a plant regarded as 'regionally extinct' in the South-east Yorkshire (vc61) Rare Plant Register, 2015 edition.

The plants are delicate and very grass-like, with no leaflets or tendrils and the pods are very elongated, with crimson flowers in pairs on long stalks. They are growing on a relatively large patch in the grassland in the middle of the site. How long would this species have been present in the site? We wondered if its grass-like leaves had been overlooked and botanist's visits had not coincided with its flowering season?

Africa Gómez, 12 June 2023