2021 County Report for Wigtownshire

Michael Jeeves

I prepared the first of what I intend to be annual newsletters on plant recording in VC74 (Wigtownshire) and arranged for it to be posted on the BSBI webpage for VC74. It was also promoted by the South West Scotland Environmental Records Centre.

The National Plant Monitoring Scheme organisers had been hoping to run a training day in Wigtownshire in 2020, but it had to be postponed because of Covid. Fortunately, it was possible to hold the event in the summer of 2021 and I led an introduction to grass, sedge and rush identification at an organic farm in The Machars area.

The RSPB invited me to help them update the information on notable plants in their Mull of Galloway Nature Reserve management plan. I also surveyed the Wigtownshire part of the RSPB’s beautiful Wood of Cree Nature Reserve, finding the nationally scarce Carex elongata (Elongated Sedge) and nearly locally scarce Trollius europaeus (Globeflower).

In addition to some general recording to help the production of a Rare Plant Register, for which I now have a rough draft, I made a start at recording for the BSBI’s new SHARPP project.

Few botanists seem to visit this corner of Scotland, so it was great to receive some really interesting records from Paul Stanley. The best of these, amongst several new VC records, was Najas flexilis (Slender Naiad). Paul first recorded this plant at Elrig Loch in 2014 and subsequently re-found it in both 2016 and 2021.