2022 County Report for North Somerset
2022 was truly an annus horribilis in VC6 with the deaths of Clive Lovatt and Liz McDonnell. They leave a huge hole in the botanical community of Somerset.
Nevertheless, over 54,000 records were made in VC6, by many different recorders; all now input and sent to the DDb.
Somerset Rare Plants Group welcomed several new members and the programme included 7 field meetings in VC6, with 21 participants on one. For reports of SRPG meetings, see: http://www.somersetrareplantsgroup.org.uk/meeting-reports/
Somerset Botany Group met weekly, mostly doing monitoring on reserves for Somerset Wildlife Trust. SBG also undertook churchyard surveys: I did three, wrote reports, and gave a talk on “Beautiful Burial Grounds for Biodiversity” to a local environmental group.
I gave three other talks to local groups, on the flora of the Cam & Wellow valleys, and flora of the Mendip Hills, and I spoke at the BSBI B&IB Conference on Botanical Treasures of Somerset.
Mendip Flora Group also met weekly, led by Andrew Robinson, who contributed >10,000 records, made personally or with the group.
I led 20 botanical walks for Cam Valley Wildlife Group and one for Bristol Naturalists’ Society. For Bath Nats I co-led two fungal forays and led two botanical meetings, including one with 24 attendees, see: http://www.bathnats.org.uk/friary-in-the-footsteps-of-monks-wednesday-23-february-2022/ I led a follow-up meeting at Friary for local residents, walks for Avon Wildlife Trust and Somerset Wildlife Trust, and botanical walks for residents in Shepton Mallet and Norton St Philip.
I also led my first BSBI field meeting, with 24 botanists attending over two days, visiting Crook Peak and Sand Point.
The Rare Plant Register remains an ongoing project, with the list kept updated and species accounts added gradually, see http://www.somersetrareplantsgroup.org.uk/