2022 County Report for Merionethshire

Joanna Clark and Heather Garrett

The Meirionnydd group meet monthly between March and November, with occasional extra meetings as and when the weather is better for mountain trips.

Following a couple of attempts by the group to see the Saussurea alpina (Alpine saw wort) in 2021 and a few more this year, John Clayfield and Peter Foulkes were able to re-find it (as John had seen it in 2021 but had no grid reference or photograph) however his memory proved correct and it is now a confirmed record (a patch of leaves 2 × 2 with one seed head) for the first time since 1999.

The group's March visit to find the purple saxifrage at its well-known site above Llyn y Gafr was a success. Then, in September we reached the summit of Cadair Idris, where there was Carex bigelowii (Stiff sedge, lots of it!) and Salix herbacea (Dwarf willow, one bush perched precariously), see photo.

Other highlights were field visits to Gefail y Cwm where we found Primula × polyantha (False oxslip) Cae Gwyn, north of Dolgellau, land which was recently purchased by Natural Resources Wales; other SSSI’s where we found Sabulina verna (Spring sandwort) on the old kiln where the peat was burnt to extract copper in the 18th century at Hermon Copper Bog and plenty of Armeria maritima (Thrift); Trollius europaeus (Globeflower) and various orchids at Tir Stent; Meum athamanticum (Spignal) at Pant Gwyn near Llanwchllyn; and Glaucium flavum (Yellow horned poppy) and Beta vulgaris subsp maritima (Sea Beet) at Afon Ysgethin.

Saxifraga oppositifolia (Purple saxifrage)

Llyn y gafr, Cadair Idris

Carex bigelowii (Stiff sedge)

At the very top of Cadair Idris where the cliff falls away steeply to the north, the sedge was found where the sheep cannot reach.

Glacium flavum (Yellow horned poppy)

Found on a shingle spit at the mouth of the Afon Ysgethin, October.

Primula × polyanthus (False oxslip)

At Gefail y Cwm near Talsarnau in April.

Meum athamanticum (Spignal)

By the footpath at the edge of a field in June 2022.