2023 County Report for South Northumberland

Megs Rogers & John Richards

Over 22,000 records have been collected this year. Collaboration with local organisations and landowners continues including surveys for the National Trust’s new initiative “Wilder Wallington “. During a survey for their new Beaver enclosure Trollius europaeus (Globe Flower) - one of our England LORE project plants- was re-found, and a group visit to an old quarry yielded one individual of Dactylorhiza × kernerorum (Common Spotted-orchid × Early Marsh Orchid) and several of Dactylorhiza × latirella ( Northern Marsh-orchid × Early Marsh-orchid) growing along with their respective other parents. Other finds from group visits included Cochlearia pyrenaica ssp. alpina (Pyrenean Scurvygrass)- the second site and growing in a calaminarian riverside gravels site, Vicia lathyroides (Spring Vetch) present in high numbers at two coastal dune sites and a large patch of Lepidium latifolium (Dittander), the second site and first record for 180 years.

Particularly productive is the surveying of Newcastle upon Tyne area by James Common. Some finds this year are nineteen cotoneaster species including Cotoneaster divaricatus (Spreading Cotoneaster) (1st County Record but present in 8 monads), Ceratochloa cathartica (Rescue Brome) on a roadside verge but also invading nearby gardens, Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow) and Echium plantagineum (Purple Viper’s-bugloss).

Other interesting finds include:- an excellent bog sedge site containing Carex limosa (Bog-Sedge), C. lasiocarpa (Slender Sedge), Rhynchospora alba (White Beak-sedge) and C. pauciflora (Few-flowered Sedge); Myrica gale (Bog Myrtle) a new site; Gagea lutea (Yellow Star-of-Bethlehem) stunning new site with 150+ plants.

John continued spreading knowledge of Taraxacum (Dandelions) with a visit based at Peterborough with recording in Vc32 Northamptonshire as well as giving two workshops at the BSBI British and Irish Botanical Conference in Newcastle.

Spirodela polyrhiza (Greater Duckweed)

Favourite random find by James Common.  Big Waters, Newcastle.