2020 County Report for Roxburghshire

Jeff Waddell & Rod Corner

Less field work was undertaken due to Covid with 1,831 records collected. As it was the first year of a new recording period an effort was made to record as many hectads as possible, seven different hectads were visited. We took the opportunity to visit good sites, to re-record them in the new date class.

In early spring Jeff used Mick Crawley’s Narcissus key and recorded three new taxa for the county. March searches were made for Gagea lutea, with the Bedrule colony mapped in detail, much larger than previously thought and a new site found at Hawick. We didn’t get out again until July with a trip to Hoscote Burn, where one of the few county sites for Melica nutans was refound after 32 years. A lovely northern haymeadow with Trollius europea and Neottia ovata was a special treat here, after lockdown.

Some visits were made to the basin mire SACs, which are better developed here than anywhere else in the UK, sadly, they are neglected and overgrown with Common Reeds. Jeff met Nature.Scot staff and landowners to discuss solutions. During these trips records were made of rare and scarce plants, including Corrallorhiza trifida and Potomogeton coloratus at Adderstonlee plus Juncus alpinoarticulatus, P. coloratus and Chara aculeolata at Branxholme Wester Loch.

New populations of J.alpinoarticulatus and P.coloratus were found at Woo Burn on a visit to record a site subject to afforestation. BSBI worked with Scottish Wildlife Trust and the owner to significantly redesign the scheme to avoid important habitats.

Jeff found a new population of Hymenophyllum wilsonii at Dinley Burn. This fern is elusive in Roxburghshire, last seen 20 years ago. The hybrid sedge Carex × boenninhausiana was refound at Linton Loch after 19 years, its only county site.

Douglas Methven discovered Scrophularia vernalis at Springwood Park, Kelso almost 150 years after Ida Hayward last saw it there, showing its persistence.

Roger Manning has been active in the east of the county and reported the roadside population of the county rarity Allium scorodoprasum near Morebattle was doing well with 52 heads this year.

Progress was made with validation with all 2020 records validated and inroads made to prior records, but progress is slow and Atlas 2020 validation far from complete, particularly due to the time taken to validate the vc79 records. Rod continues progress with his Flora of Roxburghshire