2020 County Report for Montgomeryshire
Kate Thorne and Gill Foulkes
Almost 10,000 records have been submitted to the national database from 2020. Our main focus this year has been to encourage members of the Flora Group to continue recording (as it is a new recording period) but close to home. Several new (post 2000) hectad and monad species have been recorded in this way, as well as recorders getting to grips with less familiar species – we have been sending out identification cribs and tips.
As well as recording, we continued to ‘clean up’ and verify species (for the Atlas) in the BSBI database including the set of iRecords. Later in the year (and spilling over into 2021) we have been verifying the 2019 and 2020 records held by our local Record Centre (BIS in Breconshire). This, in itself, has raised quite a few issues regarding ‘making good records’ – this, largely, does not refer to better identification skills but to better presentation and/or input of records, with more habitat detail often required and much less GR detail for common species.
Going back to the year’s recording, the Flora group had three informal outings in early September (max. of 6 people on each) recording on the floodplain around Melverley, Arddleen, and Meifod flanking SJ21 and SJ31. On one of these outings Hordeum secalinum (Meadow Barley), a rare species in the county, was found along with several Chenopodiacae. We had intended going to check up on the two rarities in the nearby Wern Fields - Stellaria palustris (Marsh Stitchwort) and Oenanthe fistulosa (Tubular Water-dropwort) - but this had to be done later by a member of the group. Both species were re-found in several locations at this site – in boggy ground near the canal.. This is the only site for Marsh Stitchwort in the county. Work is now in hand to try and make this site at least a Local Wildlife Site.
Individual recording provided first confirmed records for, rarely, some native species - Gentianella amarella subsp. amarella (Autumn Gentian) in SJ22, confirmed by Tim Rich, and Epipactis helleborine (Broad-leaved Helleborine) without chlorophyll in SJ1818, confirmed by I. Denholm - and a number of non-native species including Anisantha diandra (Great Brome) and Polypogon viridis (Water bent) both in the west (SH8001 and SH70K respectively) and confirmed by Arthur Chater. Tim Rich also determined some Hieracia including H. diadalolepioides (scarce in the county) and H. carneddorum (the latter in a new monad, and rare in the county). Ian Denholm also confirmed Dactylorhiza x formosa (D. maculata x purpurella) after receiving more photos of the colony in SJ 0008 in 2020.
Lastly: the RPR, which was updated this year, was compiled by Kate Thorne, Gill Foulkes and Barbara Brown. This was one of Barbara’s last and very important tasks as the BSBI Welsh Officer and helps to demonstrate how essential this kind of support is for the Welsh county recorders.