2023 County Report for South Hampshire

Tristan Norton and Martin Rand

Recording activity

In 2023 over 43,000 records were added to the Distribution Database. Over 19,000 of these are records made in 2023; during 2024 we would anticipate bringing in another 5,000-6,000 of these.


Formal fieldwork activity was concentrated on two activities during the year:

  • Continuing recording at monad level to improve evenness of cover over the vice-county. MR is currently developing material on the Hants Plants web site to help contributors with more targeted recording for the coming years.
  • Detailed population recording of notable species using the BSBI Threatened Plants Project form as a recording tool. MR and Tony Mundell (VC12 recorder) led a workshop for BSBI and Flora Group members in April to advise on filling in the forms, which included a field session recording Lycopodiella inundata. 120 such surveys were made during the year across both vice-counties, and in VC11 included revisits to most known Juniper sites, hotspots for Myosurus minimus in the Meon valley and less-visited valley mires in the New Forest. The forms are being scanned, collated on a species-by-species basis with older similar recording sheets and made available on the Hants Plants web site.

Under the aegis of the Hampshire Flora Group MR led meetings to private estates on the North Solent NNR to update and augment records for ancient woodland, species-rich grassland and saltmarsh.

TN also led meetings to coastal grassland and to arable farms on the Chalk, which proved very productive and popular with Flora Group members and led to some excellent new records.


MR has continued to be involved actively with the New Forest Non-native Plants Project, particularly on monitoring and eradication of Sarracenia populations on the New Forest. TN and MR serve on the committee of the Hampshire Flora Group, through which many of the local field meetings and workshops at a county level are organised, and they publish articles through its twice-yearly newsletter Flora News. TN has now taken over the reins of BSBI representative on the Hampshire Biodiversity Information Centre (HBIC) Steering Group.

Publications and checklists

MR has worked on an update to the Hampshire Notables List which informs the Hampshire Rare Plant Register and the criteria for notifying county Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCs), to take account of national rarity status and ‘Hampshire Responsibility’ status based on Atlas 2020, and assessment of declines based on a more recent pair of recording periods. This should be published in 2024, and if any further adjustments to national Red Lists appear during this time they will also be taken into account. There have been no recent updates to the Rare Plant Register itself, but this is one activity that MR hopes to be able to devote more time to now he has retired from the recordership (along with more work on the online Supplement to the 1996 Flora).

Agrostis capillaris × stolonifera = A. × murbeckii

Buriton. Recorded by Andrew Powling and Eric Clement. New vice-county record.

Atriplex longipes (Long-stalked Orache)

Bailey’s Hard, Beaulieu. Recorded by Martin Rand and Hampshire Flora Group. Plants with A. × gustafssoniana, in Elymus athericus / Bolboschoenus maritimus at shaded top edge of saltmarsh.  A new hectad, and only the second post-2000 vice-county record.

Avena barbata (Slender Oat)

Tipner, J12 M27/M275, A3(M) J3, Waterlooville. Recorded by Paul Stanley.  New vice-county record but suspected to be elsewhere on the major road network.

Cuscuta campestris (Yellow Dodder)

Fryern Hill, Chandler’s Ford, recorded by  Martin Rand. Abundant on sown annuals of “wildflower meadow” on recreation ground.

Hiltingbury Recreation Ground, Chandler’s Ford, recorded by Tristan Norton. Very extensive growth over c.200 square metres.

New for the hectad and only the third records in the last 60 years. Also reported from a sown “wildflower mix” at Fareham, and presumably a seed contaminant in these mixes.

Fumaria vaillantii (Few-flowered Fumitory)

Broughton Down Farm, Tony Mundell, Tristan Norton and Hampshire Flora Group conf. Tim Rich. Only the third confirmed vice-county record.

Glaucium corniculatum (Red Horned-poppy)

Probably cv. Burnt Orange. Near beach huts, Calshot, recorded by Alison Bolton. On coastal shingle. New for vice-county.

Limonium procerum (Tall Sea-lavender)

Subsp. procerum. Portsmouth: The Hotwalls, all along lower parapet and base of wall;  Long Curtain, King’s Bastion and Spur Redoubt. Recorded by Bob Wardell. Hundreds of plants along wall bases and on roof of one feature.  New hectad and 4th record for vice-county. Not native within the county,  but it seems to have arrived along the main road network (A27 / M27).

Melica altissima 'Atropurpurea'

By Wick Tea Gardens, Christchurch. Recorded by Felicity Woodhead, det. Eric Clement. New vice-county record.

Polystichum munitum (Western Sword-fern)

Swanwick Lakes Nature Reserve, recorded by Andrew Powling and Eric Clement. Voucher specimen held by Martin Rand. New vice-county record.

Salvia hispanica (Chia)

Southampton, recorded by Ian Green. Petersfield, recorded by Ian Green and Paul Green.  New vice-county records.

Spergularia bocconei (Greek Sea-spurrey)

Mudeford, recorded by Paul Stanley. New vice-county record.