2023 County Report for Co. Louth

Ciarán Flynn, Kate Harrington

2023 was my first full year as VCR (Ciarán). My focus was on discovering and understanding botanically important sites in the county this year. Unpublished records by John Harron, who recorded prolifically in the north of the county, focused my searches. Populations of Equisetum × trachyodon (Mackay’s Horsetail) and E. hyemale (Rough Horsetail) were both re-found along with a new E. hyemale site at Ballymakellett. Another site for Carex dioica was found on Slieve Foy although it is surely more widespread along the calcareous flushes here than current records suggest. John Faulkner discovered Senecio sylvaticus (Heath Groundsel) on heathland at Annaloughan, the first post-2000 record of this species in Co. Louth. Turning to the lowlands, Fagopyrum esculentum (Buckwheat) which grew along the margin of an arable field in Cooley, was a new county record.

In April, I delivered a presentation at the Irish Spring Conference in the National Botanic Gardens. This provided an opportunity to highlight some of the significant habitats and species within the county. A separate recording of the talk is available on the BSBI Youtube Channel. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-2v4e9pdsc&ab_channel=BotanicalSocietyofBritainandIreland)