2020 County Report for Leicestershire

Geoffrey Hall, Russell Parry, Stephen Woodward

We have done some fieldwork locally, focussing on the River Soar corridor (GH & RP), and also in a few under-recorded regions of VC55 when we were briefly allowed out, sometimes with local botanists (GH, SFW & RP). No group meetings were arranged, but recording continued county-wide via the citizen science portal, NatureSpot. So far, 24,500 records have been added to the database with more to come from NatureSpot and the LRERC. RP reports that eighteen new garden escapes were found this year, and that fifteen species were recorded in at least three times as many tetrads as were recorded before 2018.

A draft revised RPR for VC55 using BSBI’s analytical methods was made, which will be completed be published later this year. GH has almost finished writing up of the ‘Supplement to the Flora of Rutland 1990’ begun by Guy Messenger in 1993, but which he never completed. SFW has been writing up an extensive survey of the Grace Dieu estate in Charnwood.

GH produced online talks on Fern Identification and Urban Botany for NatureSpot.

We have contributed to the LRWT’s Conservation Committee (GH, SFW), to a County Council-led project to improve the flora of roadside verges (GH) and to the VC55 Genebank at the Botanic Gardens (RP).

Monotropa hypopitys (Yellow Bird’s-nest)

A fairly extensive colony found in light woodland on a former ironworks near Ashby by Isabel Raval. The first record for Leicestershire and the second population found in VC55.

Polycarpon tetraphyllum (Four-leaved Allseed)

A FCR, found on a pavement in the suburbs of Leicester City by GH.

Galium parisiense (Wall Bedstraw)

A FCR found in the verges of an industrial estate in Coalville by GH.

Carex vesicaria (Bladder Sedge)

A rare plant in VC55, found by Jean Emeny on the edge of Saddington Reservoir, although not previously recorded at this well-surveyed site.