BSBI Annual Summer Meeting, Melrose

Roxburghshire 10th – 13th July 2020
recording training beginners
led by
Jeff Waddell & Jim McIntosh

This year’s Annual Summer Meeting will be held between 10-13 July in the Scottish Borders town of Melrose, Roxburghshire, a small, attractive town with numerous cafes, boutiques and popular tourist spots including Melrose Abbey and The Eildon Hills National Scenic Area. Much of the local area is rural, with gently rolling hills and a great variety of lowland and marginal habitats. Of special interest are the numerous basin mire fens, many of which are calcareous, which together form the largest concentration of this botanically rich habitat in the UK.

Several nationally rare and scarce plant species occur including Hierochloe odorata (Holy Grass), Calamagrostis stricta (Narrow Small-reed), Corallorhiza trifida (Coralroot Orchid), Potamogeton coloratus (Fen Pondweed) and Carex approproquintata (Fibrous Tussock-sedge). Several Marl Lochs are present in the same landscape, hosting a diverse Potamogeton (Pondweed) and Charophyte assemblage including the Nationally Rare Chara rudis (Rough Stonewort) and Nationally Scarce Chara aculeolata (Hedgehog Stonewort). A wide range of high-quality lowland habitats are also within easy reach of the town from calcareous grassland with Dianthus deltoides (Maiden Pink) and abundant Helianthemum nummularium (Rock-rose) to arable fields with Fumaria purpurea (Purple Ramping-fumitory). Flushed calcareous grasslands are also locally frequent, some with Blysmus compressus (Flat Sedge) and Dactylorhiza incarnata (Early Marsh-orchid). Woodland remnants are scattered in the area but can be rich with charismatic species such as Paris quadrifolia (Herb Paris) and Neottia nidus-avis (Bird’s-nest Orchid). For those who are hill fit at least one excursion will be made to the Moffat Hills SSSI, which hosts the richest assemblage of alpine plants in the Southern Uplands including Carex atrata (Black Alpine-sedge) and Carex capillaris (Hair Sedge).

A wide range of activities will be on offer to suit all interests ranging from tutorials for beginners and improvers on groups such as grasses, sedges, rushes and pondweeds; several expert-lead field trips to classic local botanical sites and opportunities to enjoy some botanical recording in small groups.

We plan to use the Waverley Castle Hotel in Melrose as a base and we will have short local excursions on the Friday morning before a simple lunch at the hotel at 1pm followed by afternoon field trips and three further days of field meetings. So, you can make the weekend 2.5, 3 or 4 days long. There will be after-dinner talks and activities.

Note that all accommodation should be booked directly with providers.

Numbers will be limited and there will be a small flat rate charge to cover costs. Book now on the Summer Meeting webpage.

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