2020 County Report for Wigtownshire

Michael Jeeves

I took on the role of Vice-County Recorder for VC74 (Wigtownshire) part way through the year, during the Covid pandemic, having only lived in the area for just over 12 months. Not the best time in many ways, but it gave me the opportunity to think about what I would do.

To make a start on raising the profile of botany in VC74 I decided to produce a webpage for the BSBI website. I obtained the invaluable assistance of long-time resident botanists Alan Wake and Jim McCleary to comment on the text and Alan generously made available some of his excellent photographs to illustrate it with. Louise Marsh, the BSBI’s Communications Officer, provided the expertise needed to make the webpage a reality. It can be viewed here https://bsbi.org/wigtownshire.

My intention is also to produce a new checklist and Rare Plant Register and to make them available on the website. I have already nearly finished drafting RPR entries for the nationally notable plants known to occur in VC74 and my idea is to recruit the help of local botanists in monitoring them. I will also organise some field meetings when that is possible.

A total of just over 2200 records were made in 2020. These included three new vice-county records (all non-natives), but perhaps the most intriguing record was the second for Navelwort Umbilicus rupestris. The first was way back in 1836.

My thanks go to Dr Alan Silverside, the previous Recorder for VC74, who contributed so much to botanical recording in this area.