2023 County Report for Bedfordshire

John Wakely

Bedfordshire botanists have enjoyed an active year. Our Flora Guardian scheme, now in its second year has meant that 23 guardians are monitoring 47 species at 97 sites. Involvement of the Wildlife and Greensands Trusts will help ensure the longer-term future of the project.

Surveys were undertaken to establish the current distribution of 2 notable Beds species, Spiked Star-of-Bethlehem Ornithogalum pyrenaicum in the north-east of the county and Chiltern Gentian Gentianella germanica in the south. The former is very locally frequent in one parish, occurring mainly on road verges. The parish clerk has been instrumental in the creation of several new roadside nature reserves which have as a result been spared inappropriate cutting. The Gentians are now restricted to abandoned chalk quarries. One of these is managed by the Wildlife Trust but by far the largest population occurs in a quarry owned by ‘one of the market leaders in brownfield property development’.

NCRs -Hordeum marinum, Polycarpon tetraphyllum – both species probably expected. Epipactis leptochila in broad-leaved woodland on clay – unexpected.