2020 County Report for Kirkcudbrightshire

David Hawker

Despite Covid-19, three meetings took place. First was the NYPH where 11 KBG members recorded 31 flowering, & 65 non-flowering, species.  In early August, a bramble course, leader Angus Hogg, with 4/5 VCRs, recorded 15 species of which the most noticeable/identifiable was Rubus tuberculatus.  Another August KBG event surveyed a newly-created Community Field - 70 species in neutral grassland, marsh and recently tree-planted areas - to suggest suitable site management.

Throughout the season, individual recording efforts and fortnightly newsletters were the order of the day.  Currently the 2020 records number 3350, thanks to the 28 contributors including 6 visiting VCRs. Highlights included hairy buttercup Ranunculus sardous at Auchencairn, after the only previous record (1863); hairy garlic Allium subhirsutum, a garden discard, near Kirkcudbright (NCR) - given the article in the BSBI News 145, this will be reviewed in 2021 when flowering; Dutch rush Equisetum hyemale, introduced some time ago, near Kirkbean, only previous record 1863; tufted sedge Carex elata at its only VC site, Carlingwark Loch, last seen in 1979; Various couch grasses (Elytrigia spp) and their hybrids, including E. x obtusiuscula (NCR), from coastal sites, part of a Michael Wilcox project; fleabane Pulicaria dysenterica east of any known sites, in a reed-bed rather than the usual cliff-top habitat in the VC; fen or stingless nettle Urtica galeopsifolia from Kirkcudbright (NCR); sulphur cinquefoil Potentilla recta, a garden alien (NCR), Auchencairn; and beaked tasselweed Ruppia maritima, Fleet Estuary where last seen in 1959.

At present I am objecting to a SPEN power line upgrade proposal that threatens the only UK native population of Esthwaite water-weed Hydrilla verticillata.