2020 County Report for Surrey

Ann Sankey

Some key points about botanical life in Surrey:  
  • The only scheduled meeting to take place this year was the now annual New Year’s Day Plant Hunt in TQ15. 22 members took part which is an excellent number. This was probably due to a combination of sunny weather, the chance to meet friends again plus the traditional pub lunch afterwards. The range of habitats resulted in 33 species recorded in flower.
  • Some members recorded the wild plants in their gardens.
  • One member recorded his local golf courses during the first lockdown and was able to record some notable species, including some noted since 1960s.
  • Others explored their local areas more intensively than usual and also had some significant finds.
  • When first lockdown ended, we recorded more widely in ones, twos or threes, again making some good records and finds. The focus remains one of recording on a 1km plus basis for a New Flora of Surrey.
  • The ending of this first lockdown resulted in some major heathland fires, including those on two NNRs. Other parts of the VC were over-visited such that significant damage was done to important sites. This included excessive trampling of both calcareous and dry acid grasslands, widening of paths and excessive amounts of litter, some very undesirable.
  • Because we only went out in small groups, we had very limited contact many members. This is of some concern as many are uncertain recorders and teaching in the field is a major part of what we do.
  • The more limited November lockdown enabled us to safely record more golf courses and to observe some harmful practices such as herbicide and fertiliser use plus excessive mowing.
  • Over 300 new hectad records were made.
  • Major problems experienced with MapMate.
  • We have made a start on compiling an Inventory of Unimproved Grasslands in Surrey, with support and help from SWT and SBIC.
  • Some of us continue to work with other conservation organisations in Surrey.
  More notable taxa new to a hectad  
10kSquare Taxon
SU83 Hieracium lepidulum
SU83 Orobanche minor
SU84 Berberis vulgaris
SU84 Berula erecta
SU84 Senecio inaequidens
SU86 Hieracium scotostictum
SU86 Viola x bavarica
SU94 Alopecurus aequalis
SU94 Gnaphalium luteoalbum
SU94 Hieracium argutifolium
SU95 Geranium purpureum
SU95 Hieracium argillaceum
SU95 Hieracium consociatum
SU95 Hieracium lepidulum
SU96 Hieracium lepidulum
SU96 Lathraea clandestina
SU96 Ludwigia hexapetala
SU96 Poa infirma
SU96 Viola x bavarica
SU97 Polypogon viridis
TQ03 Eleocharis acicularis
TQ03 Ononis repens
TQ03 Potamogeton berchtoldii
TQ04 Aethusa cynapium subsp. agrestis
TQ04 Chenopodium strictum
TQ04 Poa infirma
TQ04 Rosa mollis
TQ05 Hyacinthoides hispanica
TQ07 Geranium rotundifolium
TQ07 Herniaria glabra
TQ14 Hieracium lepidulum
TQ14 Rosa x irregularis
TQ14 Torilis nodosa
TQ16 Hypochaeris glabra
TQ16 Poa infirma
TQ25 Lathraea clandestina
TQ25 Lepidium ruderale
TQ25 Nitella flexilis sens. lat.
TQ25 Poa infirma
TQ27 Catapodium marinum
TQ34 Apera spica-venti
TQ35 Chenopodium strictum
TQ35 Cyrtomium fortunei
TQ35 Potentilla anglica
TQ45 Agrostis vinealis