2022 County Report for Co. Kilkenny

Roger Goodwillie

The emphasis of recording in 2022 was to avoid the honeypots and concentrate on bringing tetrad scores up to a respectable figure. This meant visiting places that seemed to have no potential on the aerial photos but might hold tiny habitat patches somewhere. The first impression was gloom at the inexorable advance of dairying and afforestation but this was matched by a few exciting times – the discovery of a new Schoenus (bogrush) fen with ten sedge species as well as Equisetum variegatum (variegated horsetail) and Cornus sanguinea (dogwood), damp fields of Succisa pratensis (devil’s-bit) full of bumble bees, and a seeping woodland near Castlecomer dominated by Carex strigosa (thin-spiked wood-sedge) and Equisetum hyemale (rough horsetail) but also with Dryopteris carthusiana (narrow buckler-fern). The random nature of finding species was brought out by Elymus caninus (bearded couch) and Carex spicata (spiked sedge); three new sites for the grass in 2022, none since 2019; the sedge, not seen since 2018, but this year growing within 5m of C. muricata (prickly sedge) near Dunmore Cave. Other high points were two convincing trees of Populus nigra (black poplar) on the Nore riverbank, along with Eleocharis uniglumis (slender spike-rush) on the floodplain and Oenanthe fluviatilis (river water-dropwort) in the water. The latter was doing a lot better than the pondweeds, Potamogeton gramineus and P. perfoliatus, both suffering with eutrophication.