2020 County Report for South Hampshire

Martin Rand

This year I was expecting a relaxation in recording, but we’ve managed to tally nearly 14,000 vice-county records and add 25,000 records to the DDb. Many people (myself included) discovered things they didn’t know about their immediate area.

I am building a VCR support team that is less formal than joint recordership, but I’m hoping that a successor emerges in the next couple of years. Team member Bob Wardell has systematically recorded around Portsmouth city, an area rather neglected in recent recording, while Phil Collier has made good records farther west; the most extraordinary must be the first mainland record of Dianthus gallicus in a small coastal dune. The interval between lockdowns let us do some recording together on the coast and in the New Forest, improving records for Atriplex × gustafssoniana and Salicornia species. I was pleased to find Spartina maritima in a spot where it was last recorded 60 years ago; it is nearly extinct elsewhere in the county.

Formal field meetings were cancelled but I ran a Zoom workshop on plant families, and this was popular; three more, and one on conifers, are planned for 2021. I’m also hosting Zoom social sessions for local botanists to keep in touch every month or two.

I am developing the Hants Plants web site to enhance participation and cater for new projects, and with the team’s collaboration, developing analysis and GIS for the county database. Via Hampshire Cultural Trust we are also hoping for resources to digitise the Winchester herbarium.