2022 County Report for Angus
Robin Payne and Theo Loizou
In June our co-VCR Mark Tulley died after a long illness. We had operated happily as team of three for a decade and will miss him. Although Mark had come to botany later in life, he had quickly developed his field skills. His great strength was in his patient and accurate data entry. “Always go out on the first fine day of the week” was Mark’s maxim. He was active in the field up to a few weeks before his death.
The VCRs have continued to assist Angus Council to identify a suite of Local Nature Conservation Sites, checking species records from a variety of sources. Fieldwork to update plant records for these sites is planned for 2023.
Some progress was made with the Scottish HectAd Rare Plant Project looking at first at a hectad close to Arbroath although none of those species were re-found. For some time, we have been aware of a general decline in plant diversity along the Angus coast, probably mainly due to natural succession. Intensive farming practices and climate change have probably also contributed. Other coastal records from 2022 which buck this trend include Crithmum maritimum (Rock Samphire) and Crambe maritima (Sea-kale).
The Angus Glens are also a focus for rare plant monitoring. Concerns that Hammarbya paludosa (Bog Orchid) did not appear to be faring that well led to a field day in Glen Effock to check on known populations. Nearly all the main known populations were relocated with no evidence of any significant decline. In total population records for about six locations were obtained.