2023 County Report for Mid Perthshire

Jim McIntosh & Neale Taylor

After Alistair Godfrey’s sad death at the end of 2022, Neale Taylor was appointed as joint Country Recorder in May. One of his first tasks was to collect Alistair’s botanical specimens, record cards, journals and correspondence and begin processing it. Over 600 plant specimens have been sorted and catalogued including over 100 Taraxacum, 65 Dryopteris, 50 Euphrasia, 30 Hieracium, 34 Rose and 62 Salix specimens. Few are ready to be accessioned by an herbarium: many await determination or confirmation by referees, and the majority need labelling and mounting. We are liaising with the herbarium at Perth Museum.

We are very grateful to the 25 resident and visiting botanists who helped to collect just over 5,300 field records – with major contributions by Jim McIntosh, Dan Watson, Lewis Donaghy & Neale. There were 337 records of 40 Nationally Rare or Scarce species including those from detailed surveys of Saxifraga cernua (Drooping Saxifrage) & Sabulina rubella (Mountain Sandwort) by NTS Ben Lawers staff in 2023.

Neale began checking Mid-Perthshire iRecord records with a view to bringing them over into the main DDb holding. So far 8,000 records have been checked out of a total of 9,000. Of these about 7,200 have been confirmed.

We had several meetings with Perth & Kinross Council staff who are undertaking a survey of Local Nature Conservation Sites that is due to complete in 2024. We surveyed several sites in 2023 and are currently agreeing a survey programme for 2024.

A list of Locally Rare & Scarce species for Mid-Perthshire was prepared and will shortly be forwarded to the DDb where it can be used as a search constraint, and also to Perth & Kinross Council who would like to use it in their assessment of potential Local Nature Conservation Sites.

Photo is of Linnaea borealis (Twinflower) found in 2022 on Meall Corranaich, just above Lochan na Lairige, near Ben Lawers.

Anisantha diandra (Great Brome)

The arable weed neophyte Anisantha diandra was recorded in 2023 in an barley field end-rig near Auchterarder with other arable weeds by Jim McIntosh. An NCR.

Berberis darwinii × empetrifolia = B. × stenophylla (Hedge Barberry)

This hybrid neophyte was recorded at the edge of a carpark in Killin by Dan Watson. An NCR.

Cotoneaster microphyllus s.s. (Small leaved Cotoneaster)

Several patches were recorded by Jim McIntosh on south facing cliffs on Creag Mhor Local Nature Conservation Site near Loch Tummel. The site has a great base rich flora and it will be sad if this Cotoneaster spreads. An NCR.

Erica carnea (Winter Heath)

This neophyte was recorded by Dan Watson in the village of Crianlarich near the railay station. Looks like it was originally planted but is now neglected. An NCR.

Reynoutria japonica × sachalinensis = R. × bohemica (Bohemian Knotweed)

A large stand of this undesirable neophyte was recorded by Jim McIntosh in the River Earn Meanders Local Nature Conservation site, near Auchterarder. An NCR.

Trachystemon orientalis (Abraham-Isaac-Jacob)

Patches of this neophyte were recorded by Jim McIntosh in Dunning Glen Wood Local Nature Conservation Site. An NCR.

Cotoneaster atrovirens (Dark Cotoneaster)

The first record of this taxa in the wild in the UK was made near the Falls of Dochart, Killin in 1999 by Mike Wilcox. In 2023, Dan Watson collected a specimen sent it to referee Jeanette Frye who confirmed its identification. It is now recorded in just one other location in the UK (near Cambridge).