2021 County Report for North Somerset
Helena Crouch & Liz McDonnell
In 2021 over 46,000 records were made in VC6, input to MapMate (mostly by the VCRs), and sent to the BSBI.
As the year started, restrictions were in place, with another lockdown looming, but members of Somerset Rare Plants Group (SRPG) participated individually in New Year Plant Hunts. Members of Bath Natural History Society (BNHS) also contributed: see http://www.bathnats.org.uk/victoria-park-and-surrounds-new-year-walk-3-january-2021/
Once lockdown eased, various groups resumed botanical meetings in Somerset. SRPG organised thirteen field meetings, seven in VC6, mostly led by the VCRs: see http://www.somersetrareplantsgroup.org.uk/meeting-reports-2021/ These included a Fern Workshop I ran with Fred Rumsey. Somerset Botany Group met weekly nineteen times, carrying out surveys of reserves for Somerset Wildlife Trust and others. SBG have continued weekly winter recording meetings organised by Liz. I led 17 weekly botany walks for Cam Valley Wildlife Group and one botanical walk for BNHS (see http://www.bathnats.org.uk/eastwood-farm-lnr-brislington-22-july-2021/), co-led two fungal forays, and led a walk for a group of Mendip AONB volunteers.
Members of SBG volunteered to do churchyard surveys for the Wilder Churches project developed by SWT and the Diocese of Bath and Wells. I carried out and wrote reports for seven of these, and helped with two others; altogether the group visited 24 churchyards, receiving the SWT Volunteer Award as a result. I also wrote a survey report for Mendip Golf Course, and gave talks to two local groups, on Flora of the Cam Valley and Ferns of Somerset.
The Rare Plant Register remains an ongoing project, see http://www.somersetrareplantsgroup.org.uk/ I wrote seventeen new species accounts in 2021.