2023 County Report for West Sutherland

Ian M. Evans

West Sutherland is an extensive vice-county, with five parishes covering 3098 sq.km., and many hitherto unrecorded areas far from its few roads.  There are two local botanists and two regular visitors.  The useful season for fieldwork is limited, essentially June-September.  It is currently targeted on two areas, the Quinag estate of the John Muir Trust in the south-western parish of Assynt, and the parish of Tongue on the north coast.

Eight monads on Quinag, and one other in Assynt, yielded some 900 records, and two weeks staying at Tongue, in June and August, some 1650 records from 20 monads.

Species new to Assynt, and West Sutherland as a whole, were Mycelis muralis (Wall Lettuce) outside Lochinver (NC0923) and Hypericum maculatum (Imperforate St John’s-wort) near Kylesku (NC2333).

New hectad records of note from the Tongue area included Lycopodiella inundata (Marsh Clubmoss) above Strath Naver (NC7153), and both Pyrola media (Intermediate Wintergreen) and Orthilia secunda (Serrated Wintergreen) in a remote woodland south of Loch an Dherue (NC5345).  Thanks to Gwen Richards, Gordon Rothero and Ro Scott for all their contributions during the year.

Mycelis muralis (Wall Lettuce)

At Lochinver, new to West Sutherland. Photo Gwen Richards