2022 County Report for South Northumberland

Megs Rogers & John Richards

Projects and field work

Our slant on the England LORE project  is to each year provide a list of rare or under recorded plants to be re-found and  looked for and a number of new sites have been reported including for Trollius europaeus (Globe Flower).  Habitat recording continued in ancient woodland (this will now link with the ERIC North East Ancient Woodland Inventory Project) and on limestone outcrops where good numbers of plants such Scabiosa columbaria (Small Scabious) were found despite extensive sheep grazing. Collaboration continues with local organisations and a link made with a new large Encouraging Wildness project on an estate.  General recording has started to increase again and together with local botanists over 9000 records have been made. Interesting finds are published by AJR in the vc67 Newsletters which are on the new website.

Chris and Hazel Metherell organized the Citizen Science Discovering North East Orchids through the Natural History of Northumbria and local botanists helped with visits, recording and species accounts.

New initiatives

The first outing for local members took place in September with a visit to the coast and rare lowland heath and further ones will be arranged. James Common has just set up a much needed and excellent website for Botany in Northumberland https://northumberlandbotany.co.uk/  and he has also started a new Northumberland Botany Group to encourage younger botanists, beginners and cross-generational learning while out recording.

Bistorta vivipara (Alpine Bistort)

An exciting new site on gravels beside the South Tyne downstream from a previous location but not seen there for thirty years.

Crocus nudiflorus (Autumn Crocus)

A surprising find of over a hundred flowers on a field bank.  Second county record.

Vaccinium uliginosum (Bog Bilberry)

Exact location finally recorded! Not seen since 1979 and one of only three known sites.

Linnaea borealis (Twinflower)

The first flowering for over a decade at our sole remaining site.

Gentianella campestris (Field Gentian)

Restricted now to a single locality but with more than a hundred plants flowering in four microsites.