2022 County Report for North Wiltshire

Richard Aisbitt and Kat Newbert

Recording in 2022

We are hoping to reach a good enough coverage of Wiltshire to publish a new county Flora (there have been four so far, going back to 1858 – or five, if you count Aubrey’s 1847 ‘Natural History of Wiltshire’). Further visits in 2022 to under-recorded kilometre squares added over 25,000 records and filled many gaps. Downloads of records from other schemes – iRecord, iNaturalist, Living Record – and data sharing with our county BRC brought in another 40,000 records, many from earlier years.

Rare Plant Register

Martin Buckland has completed his update of the Wiltshire RPR and this is now on the BSBI Website (https://bsbi.org/download/34686/?tmstv=1672829948).

Field Meetings

The Wiltshire Botanical Society had a full programme of spring and summer visits, which included training events, with Brean Down in Somerset and Fritham in the New Forest as out-of-county highlights.


Six students completed the Identiplant course with Wiltshire tutors.

Notable plant finds

We continue to see more halophyte species: Grass-leaved Orache Atriplex litoralis is a new find in VC7. It was found along with Lesser Sea-spurrey Spergularia marina, which is increasingly common. Also, Stag’s-horn Plantain Plantago coronopus can now be found on many salted roadsides.

Cynoglossum germanicum (Green Hound’s-tongue)

A colony of Green Hound’s-tongue Cynoglossum germanicum was a surprise find by Alex Prendergast (his photo) on Salisbury Plain. How this rare Schedule 8 species got to this isolated spot is a mystery. The plant is also known in Swindon, where it is thriving at several sites, but is known to be a deliberate introduction.

Bidens frondosa (Beggarticks)

Beggarticks Bidens frondosa has been found along the Kennet and Avon Canal in VC6 Somerset, but was not known in Wiltshire. Suspecting it should also be in Wilts, Dave Green searched eastwards along the K&A and finally found five plants growing out of canal-side masonry at Murhill in VC8.

Alchemilla glaucescens

Until recently, Common Lady’s-mantle Alchemilla filicaulis subsp. vestita was the only Alchemilla recorded in Wiltshire apart from Garden Lady’s-mantle A. mollis. Then Dave (he keeps spotting rarities) noticed that one of his finds was odd, and re-determined it as A. glaucescens, a northern species. This was confirmed by the BSBI referee, Mark Lynes. It may have arrived on imported limestone chippings.