2022 County Report for North Devon

Bob Hodgson, Jeremy Ison & Bob Kirby

The Devonshire Association Botany Section has continued to organise a program of field meetings. There has, however, been little recording activity this year apart from that undertaken by Bob Kirby. Taking advantage of the unkempt gutters left following Covid, this has focused on suburban areas. An invitation to record on various Barnstaple allotments produced some interesting finds, whilst also turning up some species new to the vice-county. Around 3800 records have been collected, updating a range of older ones and re-finding some “lost” species. The suburban emphasis provided a clearer picture of the habitat preferences and spread of several of North Devon’s rarer neophytes (some of which proved locally frequent in such habitats). Useful contact with the rangers at Northam Burrows was established, and some training was provided. Some limited fieldwork in support of project LORE was undertaken, and proved reasonably successful.

Allium carinatum (Keeled Garlic).

Conf. Paul R. Green. Two plants in a gutter in Mill Road, Landkey. An unusual habitat for the species. Found by Bob Kirby. First record.

Avena sterilis (Winter Wild-oat).

Conf. Oli Pescott. Two plants at Higher Raleigh, Barnstaple. Found by Bob Kirby. First record.

Campanula alliariifolia (Cornish Bellflower).

Conf. Ian J. Bennallick. Two as pavement weeds in Staddon Road, Appledore. Found by Bob Kirby. Second v.c. record. An attractive species last reported in 1948.

Chenopodium strictum (Striped Goosefoot).

Conf. John R. Akeroyd. About twenty plants at Higher Raleigh, Barnstaple. Found by Bob Kirby. First record.

Elatine hexandra (Six-stamened Waterwort).

Wistlandpound Reservoir. Not seen for twenty-seven years despite a number of visits to the site. Thirty-seven plants were found by Bob & Stephanie Kirby. Second record for the site, one of only two in the v.c.

Fumaria bastardii var. hibernica (Tall Ramping-fumitory).

Appledore. Found by Bob Kirby (conf. Tim Rich). Second record for this rarer variety, the previous was in 1931.

Gentianella amarella ssp. occidentalis (Dune Gentian).

An additional population was discovered on Braunton Burrows. Conf. Tim Rich and reported by Mary Breeds.

Polycarpon tetraphyllum (Four-leaved Allseed).

Third and fourth records, with Bob Kirby finding a handful of plants in Great Torrington and then in excess of 10,000 plants, occupying almost every joint across the entire road surface of a block-paved close at Landcross.

Hirschfeldia incana (Hoary Mustard).

Found by Bob Kirby at Anchorwood Bank, Barnstaple (last recorded in that hectad in 1917) and Appledore (new for hectad).

Spergularia bocconei (Greek Sea-spurrey).

First record found by Bob Kirby (conf. Tim Rich) on a pavement in Westward Ho! Subsequently found by him nearby on a track at Northam Burrows in car parking areas at Hartland and Great Torrington, and on a pavement at Bideford.