2023 County Report for West Cornwall, East Cornwall

Ian Bennallick and Colin French

In 2023 the total number of flowering plant and fern records for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly topped 2.5 million and now stands at 2,522,023. During 2023, 73,793 flowering plant and fern records were added to the ERICA database of which 60,147 were recorded in 2023. 32,186 records, covering 1274 taxa, were made in West Cornwall (VC1) in 2023, and 27,961 were made in East Cornwall (VC2) covering 1210 taxa. In total, 143 people contributed flowering plant and fern records in 2023.

Remarkably, 37 new taxa were added to the Cornish list in 2023. They include several historic records from herbaria (the specimens for Cistus incanus and Crepis paludosa need checking), two from Barbara Sturdy’s notes of a visit to Croggan’s Tannery, Grampound in 1984, and nine new to the Isles of Scilly. The majority are alien species and are mostly likely to be casuals.

The Botanical Cornwall Group organised 16 field trips to all parts of Cornwall with one looking at Salicornia spp. with Dave Steere, one looking at Rubus species in the field with Keith Spurgin and 2 New Year Plant Hunts. Attendance to each meeting averaged around 7 people. Many new and updated records were made and meetings involved lining with the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Natural England, The National Trust, South West Lakes Trust and the Launceston Parish Wildlife Group.