2022 County Report for North Northumberland

Chris Metherell/James Common

VC 68 Annual Report

Perhaps the most important event of the year was the appointment of James Common as joint recorder. Many hands etc.!

Rather few records, only about 500 or so. The bulk were accumulated as part of a joint citizen science project with the Natural History Society of Northumberland on orchids, resulting in the publication of “Orchids of the North-East” in December 2022. This project has taken up much resource time during the year (we produced films of almost all the relevant orchids to aid identification for example), however as a result we received records from over 60 recorders, many of whom were new, and hope to build on this recorder base next year.

Planning has taken place with a view to updating the VC RPR and a specialised recording group has been formed to assist with undertaking the necessary monitoring for this. BSBI members are welcome to join this and can be added to the mailing list by emailing jamesmcommon@gmail.com.

James has been hard at work producing a new website covering not only VC68 but also 67, which is now live and contains lots of information on local recording. Social media accounts encouraging recording in VC68 and VC67 are also in the pipeline.

The VCRs have led a substantial number of botanical trips covering varying levels of expertise, including trips with students in collaboration with Newcastle University.

We have maintained contacts with local organisations (notably the Farne Islands Advisory Group and Northumberland Coast Care) and major landowners. In the latter case much time was expended surveying invasive in a sand dune system in the north of the VC, which has, inter alia, produced excellent records of several rarer species which are also found in the area to which access is not normally permitted.