2021 County Report for County Durham
The Upper Teesdale Special Flora Recording and Conservation Project have been finding that comparing current surveys for 19 of the special plants, to results from a survey from 1968 to 1975 of the same species in the same areas on Widdybank Fell, all 19 species have declined in extent On average, these species were not found in over half of the areas they grew in 50 years ago. Most of the rare plants are declining in numbers and they are all light-demanding species. In 2021, trials started on different ways of managing the sward to see if they can find the best way of making conditions more suitable for them again.
Though it was a late start in 2021, Michael Wilcox will continue next year in looking at our coastal Ononis repens/spinosa [Common and Spiny Restharrows], which are treated as subspecies in Sell & Murrell. In Co. Durham Ononis repens is common all along the coast and O. spinosa occurs in four quite distinct coastal populations, often with O. repens. The hybrid between the two, Ononis x pseudohircina has also been reported. Michael will look at our populations as these species are not as easy to identify as you may think. See the BSBI crib sheet
The DWT Botany group runs outing throughout the year, sometimes as often as
twice a week in spring and summer. If you are interested have a look at the Durham Wildlife Trust Botany Group Facebook page or the website https://www.durhambotany.org.uk/