2020 County Report for East Cornwall

Ian Bennallick

Only one Botanical Cornwall Group field meeting was organised in 2020 – the BSBI New Year Plant Hunt on the North Cornish coast at Perranporth. Fifteen people attended in damp but mild conditions and recorded 72 plants in flower, but even on the 1st January we added six species new to SW75 including Spergularia bocconei.  With uncertainty due to the Covid virus, only 17 people attended the indoor annual meeting on 14th March.

With the cut-off date for records for the new Flora of Cornwall the end of 2019, recording in 2020 was less urgent. Though travel was limited, several recorders surveyed their local area, and in many cases, these were areas that had not had the attention of further flung parts of Cornwall. Some people had some surprising finds including

- David Pearman who found a small abandoned horse-grazed field dominated by Oenanthe pimpinelloides – new to SW74 (in West Cornwall) and one of only eight sites for it is Cornwall

- Ian Bennallick found a large population of Eleocharis acicularis around the margin of a balancing pond on the A30 dual carriageway at Victoria, new for SW96. This is the first record for East Cornwall since 1996 and one of only two sites known for Cornwall since 1999

- Phil Hunt recorded 18 species new to SX05, in an already well-botanized area

The best record for East Cornwall in 2020 was from a visiting botanist, George Tordoff who discovered one plant of Cryptogramma crispa on a granite outcrop at Showery Tor. This is a new native fern to Cornwall.