2021 County Report for South Northumberland

John Richards Megs Rogers

Early in the year, a revised, updated and illustrated version of the vice-county RPR was published in Northumbrian Naturalist 90: 6-119, obtainable from the Natural History Society of Northumbria, Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4PT.

Good progress has been made with creating new links with local organisations and community groups, and surveys of local sites at the request of the Northumberland Wildlife Trust have continued. Many Newcastle Parks have been surveyed for the new charity Urban Green Newcastle, resulting in re-finds of plants typical of ancient woodland. Regeneration sites of industrial areas and reclaimed meadowland have also been visited, and have yielded many interesting records.

Another new initiative within the county is habitat mapping which is going forward in conjunction with Natural England, the Natural History Society of Northumbria and local botanists.

Potentilla anglica (Trailing Tormentil),

Perhaps the most interesting discoveries made during the year were two new sites (second and third extant) for Potentilla anglica (Trailing Tormentil), both found on paths through two of our very few remnants of lowland heath.

Carex oederi (Small-fruited Yellow-sedge

Another interesting second site in the county was found for Carex oederi (Small-fruited Yellow-sedge) at the upper edge of reservoir drawn-down. The other site is also in a reservoir, not far away.

Carex limosa (Bog-sedge)

Close to the recent discovery of a new site for Betula nana (Dwarf Birch), the Wednesday Botany Group found an excellent new locality for Carex limosa (Bog-sedge) within a large stand of Phragmites (Reed).

Festuca heterophylla (Various-leaved Fescue)

A large stand of Festuca heterophylla (Various-leaved Fescue) was discovered at the entrance to Letah Wood, a Woodland Trust Reserve. This is only the second site in the county for this introduced grass. Several new sites were also reported for Bromus racemosus agg. (Smooth/Meadow Brome) which is being recorded more frequently.