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Category: Field Meetings
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Leader Isabel Macho

Ten members met at the Berwig roundabout for this evening meeting, when wellies and waterproofs were a necessity. The party proceeded over the disturbed ground into the site with Richard recording plant species which included Common Orache (Atriplex patula), Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) and Hoary Mustard (Hirschfeldia incana). Further along White Melilot (Melilotus albus) was recorded ‐ two large plants on the east and about six on the west side of the road. By the path, on the north side, three plants of Prickly Lettuce (Lactuca serriola) were seen and over the drainage channel south of the path a Southern Hawker (Aeschna cyanea) dragonfly was observed, not surprisingly, hawking. Frogbit (Hydrocharis morsus‐ranae) was locally abundant in the drain and by the new boardwalk bridge, Grey Clubrush (Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani) was present. In the vicinity of the widened ditch by an interpretation panel, more Grey Clubrush was present but the marginal vegetation was dominated by Bulrush (Typha latifolia), Common Reed (Phragmites australis) and Hard Rush (Juncus inflexus). Other species included Water‐plantain (Alisma plantago‐aquatica), Frogbit, Branched Bur‐reed (Sparganium erectum) and Hemp­agrimony (Eupatorium cannabinum). Occasional Celery‐leaved Buttercup (Ranunculus sceleratus)

An area where the drainage ditch has been widened to enhance the habitat for Watervoles. Marginal vegetation is dominated by Bulrush, Common Reed and Hard Rush with Frogbit leaves floating on the water’s surface was noted by the next bridge with Aspen (Populus tremula), Soft‐rush (Juncus effusus), Hard Rush and Common Reed. In the ditch Common Water‐starwort (Callitriche stagnalis) was locally abundant with a few plants of Celery‐leaved Buttercup. A scrubby area had White Poplar (Populus alba) spreading from the nearby roadside plantings, Aspen, White Willow (Salix alba) and Grey Willow (Salix cinerea) whilst tall herb species included Sneezewort (Achillea ptarmica), Bifid Hemp‐ nettle (Galeopsis bifida), Marsh Ragwort (Senecio aquaticus) and Prickly Sow‐thistle (Sonchus asper). Finally the sun emerged to provide a red‐lit backdrop to some interesting plants growing on bare, stony disturbed ground back near the cars. These included one plant of Viper's‐bugloss (Echium vulgare) (see cover photo), Sand Spurrey (Spergularia rubra) and Common Yellow‐sedge (Carex viridula subsp. oedocarpa).

All agreed that, as usual, the meeting proved to be interesting and memorable, despite (or due to) the rain and despite not seeing any signs of Watervoles! But interestingly, the people in our photos of this meeting are mostly smiling!