2021 County Report for Co. Louth
Kate and Cliona
Due to Covid-19, both VCR’s were locked out of Louth in early 2021, fortunately local botany enthusiasts Ciarán and Enda Flynn were locked in! They roamed (within the limits) to re-find several rare plants with two notable highlights on Slieve Foye in April; refinding Wilson’s filmy fern after 50 years and finding Killarney fern gametophyte (new VC record!). During a Covid-19 reprieve we held a field meeting in Baltray with Paul Green. The Baltray trip did not disappoint, everyone enjoyed the wonderful dune flora and to top it off, a single plant of Salvia verbenaca was found. The plant was looking a little vulnerable on a track edge, though we know at least one more occurs in the area due to fantastic recording by Shane Farrell in 2019.
During the year we established a local botany Whatsapp group, members have expressed interest in the ongoing Rare Plant Recording Project (RPRP). To this end we have begun thinking of rare plants to survey/refind for the coming year. A RPRP outing in late December yielded the refinding of Lycopodium clavatum after more than 50 years! This find was made by Ciarán, Enda and both VCR’s. It was Enda’s eagle eyesight that spotted the plant. Amazingly, Ciarán and Enda refound L. clavatum again nearby just two weeks later. Overall it was a fantastic year for botany in Louth, we are incredibly lucky to have such fantastic recorders around the county and look forward to more exciting finds for the coming year.