2023 County Report for South-west Yorkshire

Kay McDowell

Annual report 2023

We had seven outings in 2023. We concentrated on visiting sites which hadn’t been visited for some time and also RDL (Red Data List) species.

Louise and a small group of Doncaster botanists continued the detailed mapping of the distribution of two local rarities - Andromeda polifolia (bog-rosemary)and Vaccinium oxycoccos (cranberry) at Hatfield Moors SAC and SSSI.

Trichomanes speciosum (Killarney fern) gametophyte (an RDL species) at Bell Bank Wood, Bingley site now been given Local Wildlife Site protection.

Louise and small group of fellow South West Yorkshire Botany Group members investigated a historic site for Carex elongata (elongated sedge) in Rotherham.

A previously unconfirmed colony of C. digitata was located on some of the Magnesian limestone outcrops in the Don Gorge SSSI (following a promising lead provided by a former local botanist Ian McDonald).

Louise and Kay attended ‘An Introduction to Dandelions’ with Mark Lynes at Thorne & Hatfield Moors Conservation Forum.

Louise and local botanists visited King’s Wood, Roche Abbey to search for Paris quadrifolia (herb Paris) RDL species – sadly not found this time.

Louise gave a well-attended illustrated afternoon talk on 'Local Botany' as part of the Bawtry Arts Festival. The meeting included advice on how to start botanising and included live and pressed specimens as well as photographs of plants likely to be found in the local area.

A first record for Vaccinium vitis-idaea (cowberry) in SD90, since 1798.

At Blackmoorfoot Reservoir Polypodium interjectum (intermediate polypody) was recorded (an RDL species).

Louise visited Calderdale Council's Sphagnum growing project at Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve and took the opportunity to check on the colony of Pyrola rotundifolia (intermediate winter-green), an RDL species which grows on the re-vegetated fly ash lagoons nest to the River Calder.

Kay checking records from Guy Wallbanks from York area (VC61, 62 & 64). He’s recorded approximately 11,000 records during 2022-23. Records will be transferred on to DDb.

Jill Lucas published her updated ‘Flora of Huddersfield.’

Botrychium lunaria (moonwort)

Steve Hindle found Botrychium lunaria (moonwort) with deeply incised leaves at Hardcastle Craggs near Hebden Bridge in June.

Cirsium heterophyllum (melancholy thistle)

Dr Mike Canaway found a large population of Cirsium heterophyllum (melancholy thistle) near Denshaw in July.

Lycopodium clavatum (stag's-horn clubmoss)

Louise Hill found a new colony of Lycopodium clavatum (stag’s-horn clubmoss) at a site above Wessenden Head reservoir whilst out on a non-botany walk with friends!

Helleborus foetidus (stinking hellebore)

Guy Wallbanks recorded Helleborus foetidus (stinking hellebore) at Wighill in September, which is a new hectad (SE44) record. Wighill is a village in North Yorkshire in between York and Leeds and is in vc 64.