Wild Flower Society Field Meetings 2021

Field meetings are open to all members of the Society. Guests may also attend meetings. Children are welcome but remain the responsibility of parents/guardians at all times.

There is usually a range of botanical expertise amongst people attending and the leader will make every effort to make sure that everyone sees the plants of interest and hears discussions and explanations. Some meetings are to places with specific plants in mind, others are more of a ‘come and find’. For the meetings in 2021, members wishing to attend a meeting should book with the Meetings Secretary Janet John. This is different from recent years. The reason is so that any changes in Covid regulations can be adhered to and track and trace, if required, can be quickly responded to. Meetings can be oversubscribed so please inform the Meetings Secretary if, having booked, you are unable to attend, so that someone else can take your place. If there are any queries then contact Janet John, Meetings Secretary: Janet John or phone 01753 884490.

Leaders have received updated procedures and recommendations to ensure the safety of members on meetings with regard to Covid-19. These include maintaining social distancing and perhaps limiting numbers at a meeting depending on terrain.

To receive monthly updates with details about availability of places or changes to arrangements in meetings and information about extra meetings, sign up for the WFS Alerts system.

Please DO NOT bring dogs as many field meetings are held in nature reserves or where there are grazing animals. Registered guide dogs may be exempt from this requirement, unless they are prohibited by the landowners. Please check with the meeting organiser.

Please come appropriately dressed, especially with regard to footwear and be prepared for all eventualities of weather. If you have mobility issues please check with the leader that the terrain is suitable.

Transport and accommodation is the responsibility of the attendee. However, members who do not drive or who have difficulty in reaching the starting point should contact the leader, whose details you will be given when you book, to see if transport might be available.

Please arrive promptly for the meeting. If you have traffic problems let the leader know so they can advise on the route and how you can find the group

When you arrive at the meeting, park considerately, act responsibly, bearing in mind the Countryside Code, and stay with the group. Always inform the leader if you must leave before the end of a meeting.

Packed lunches are usually required and need to be carried.

All those attending Wild Flower Society field meetings do so at their own risk

A message from the Meetings Secretary

I am pleased to present the meetings for 2021. I hope that you are tempted to attend at least one – if not more. I have tried to spread the meetings around the country and to have a variety of habitats and plants so that everyone can find something that tempts them. It was disappointing to have to cancel all meetings in 2020 due to Covid, however I am pleased to report that most of last year’s scheduled meetings are in the programme for 2021 with some additions.

One new feature is the opportunity to attend a meeting from the comfort of your own home. You will notice at the beginning of the yearly programme the inclusion of seven on-line meetings. We very much hope to attract regular outdoor attendees to these cosy indoor chats and also to appeal to members who perhaps have difficulty in getting to our usual WFS Field Meetings. Put the dates in your diary, drop me an email saying you would like to attend and I will respond and send you the Zoom joining details in due course. Don’t worry, you don’t need any special software just a computer with email. If you have never attended an on-line Zoom meeting before, just tell me and I will have a practice with you beforehand.

Enjoy reading through the list of meetings and planning and booking those which you will attend. I look forward to crossing paths with you in 2021 as we botanise together.

Janet John

Meetings Secretary

The Wild Flower Society

WFS Online Field Meetings

These Zoom meetings are a new initiative and are chosen to give you the chance to get to know plants in locations that perhaps would be difficult for you to visit or to just reinforce and enjoy areas you have been to in the past. Put the dates in your diary and drop an email to wfs.meetings@gmail.com to say you would like to attend. Details of how to attend will be sent to you.

All meetings will run from 18.30 to 19.30

Presenter Title of Meeting Weekday Month Date
Chris Metherell Holy Island Thurs Jan 28
Lyn Jones Botanical Walks in the Engadine Tues Feb 23
Peter Llewellyn In Search of the Snowdon Lily Tues March 16
Chris Metherell Orchids of the North East Tues April 20
Lizzie Maddison A Walk in the North Pennines Tues Oct 19
Anne Kell A Seasonal Excursion Tues Nov 9
Peter Llewellyn Plant Identifying around the World Tues Dec 7

Holy Island (Lindisfarne) Thursday January 28th 18.30 to 19.30

Chris Metherell

An opportunity to learn a little of the geography, geology and flora of this botanical gem without suffering from an attack by the omnipresent Pirri-pirri-bur, the tenacious invader from Australia.

Botanical Walks in the Engadine Tuesday February 23rd 18.30 to 19.30

Lyn Jones

A botanical trip to Switzerland and the alpine meadows without stepping aboard a cable car or funicular. Enjoy the hay-meadows of the lower valleys and the mountain pastures with alpine flowers including Gentians and Orchids.

In Search of the Snowdon Lily Tuesday March 16th 18.30 to 19.30

Peter Llewellyn

A tour around botanical hot spots in North Wales hunting for the elusive Snowdon Lily on…..Snowdon! And discovering the floral delights of Cwm Idwal.

Orchids of the North East Tuesday April 20th 18.30 to 19.30

Chris Metherell

A chance to explore the Marsh-orchids and Spotted-orchids of the North East through film, photos, maps and hints for identification.

A Walk in the North Pennines Tuesday October 19th 18.30 to 19.30

Lizzie Maddison

Explore the remote beauty and diversity of the North Pennines as we wander over the fell tops and down into the valley bottoms.

A Seasonal Excursion Tuesday November 9th 18.30 to 19.30

Anne Kell

A late autumn walk in Suffolk to seek out mistletoe and its preferred hosts. Perhaps we will also have a passing mention to “the holly and the ivy” whether or not they are “full grown”.

Plant identifying around the world Tuesday December 7th 18.30 to 19.30

Peter Llewellyn

And to round off our year’s extravaganza of meetings, on-line or on-field, Peter will take us on a whistle-stop tour hopping from continent to continent to see the beautiful and the downright peculiar.

Two and three day meetings 2021

Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th June 2021: Joint Wild Flower Society and Somerset Rare Plants Group weekend meeting in the Exmoor area.

Leaders: Ro FitzGerald and Graham Lavender

Saturday: Dunster Beach (VC5), Somerset

Meet at the Beach Car Park (ST003445) at 10:30. This is pay-and-display so try to car share if this is a concern. There are toilets and a refreshment kiosk. Walking will be slow and easy as many of the targets are small and scattered. This locality is famous for its rarities as well as its beautiful channel-shore position, but some plants still need more survey and updating of records. Target species will include a number of interesting clovers, Mossy Stonecrop (Crassula tillea) and Smooth Cat’s-ear (Hypochaeris glabra). Records exist for two uncommon grasses Dune Fescue (Vulpia fasciculata) and Bearded Fescue (Vulpia ciliata ssp ambigua) and these need confirmation.

Sunday: North Hill, Minehead (VC5), Somerset

Meet at 10:30. Two parking places are marked on the OS Explorer map OL9. Go to the second car park (SS954475), WNW of the top end of Moor Wood. Walking will be easy. This is a wonderful locality giving spectacular views of the Exmoor coast. Target plants will include a number of interesting annual clovers, Common Cudweed (Filago germanica formerly Filago vulgaris), which is rare in this area, and Dodder (Cuscuta epithymum). Upright Chickweed (Moenchia erecta), an uncommon and inconspicuous species, is believed to be present in quantity and this early summer date should make an accurate estimate of the population possible.

To book, contact: Janet John or phone 01753 884490

Thursday 17th and Friday 18th June 2021: Sefton Coast, Lancashire

Thursday: Ainsdale. Leaders: Julie Clarke and Sheila Wynn (we hope to be joined by

local botanists. This will be confirmed nearer the time)

Meet for a 10:30 start at Ainsdale Discovery Centre, Ainsdale-on-Sea, Southport, PR8 2QB (SD297127). From Shore Road, Ainsdale, heading towards the beach, turn left onto The Promenade, just after Pontins Holiday Village. The car park is on the right, approx. 300m. Toilets are on Shore Road. We will spend the morning in the streets and LNR at Ainsdale and the afternoon on Green Beach, Ainsdale. The whole area is rich in plant taxa and we should see a number of rarities in addition to the wealth of more common plants. Species we may find include Rough Clover (Trifolium scabrum), Strawberry Clover (Trifolium fragiferum), Clustered Clover (Trifolium glomeratum) and Knotted clover (Trifolium striatum), Smooth Rupturewort (Herniaria glabra), a range of dune annuals and marsh orchids plus Seaside Centaury (Centaurium littorale) and Lesser Centaury (Centaurium pulchellum) plus hybrids. The Green Beach now has well over 200 species present and the numbers continue to increase every year. Easy walking across vegetated sand dunes with some low dune-ridges.

Friday: Crosby. Leaders: Julie Clarke, Marion Chappell and Sheila Wynn

Meet for a 10:30 start at the Crosby Leisure Centre, Mariner Road, Crosby, L23 6SX, (SJ307989). Parking at the Leisure Centre is free. Toilets are in the Leisure Centre. We will spend the day exploring the dunes where, as well as a range of dune plants and well-established garden escapes, we should see Isle-of-Man Cabbage (Coincya monensis ssp. monensis)and the maritime sub-species of Field Wormwood (Artemisia campestris ssp. maritima), at its only remaining site in the UK. For a change from plants, Antony Gormley’s Iron Men looking out to sea are also nearby.

To book, contact: Janet John

The following One Day Meeting could be added to the above. See One Day meetings for details.

Saturday 19th June 2021: Storth, Cumbria.

Leader: Julie Clarke

To book, contact: Janet John or phone 01753 884490

Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th June 2021: Brean Down and the Mendips, Somerset

Saturday: Priddy Mineries, Mendips, Somerset

Leaders: Barbara Lewis and Nicky Wesson

Meet at 10:30 at car park opposite Priddy Mineries at Stockhill Wood (ST555515 Explorer map 141). Walking boots are fine unless it has been very wet beforehand then wellies! This is a meeting with a difference. Led by two practising herbalists, a different slant will be given in the description of the plants. As well as identifying plants we will learn what part the plants play in the herbalist’s repertoire. Some of us may already know that “wort” in the name means that the plant has in the past been used medicinally. Now come and find out more. The site has a variety of habitats including valley mire, open water and wetland habitats, lead-rich spoil heaps, grassland and woodland. The grassland is species rich as these are some of the best wild flower grasslands remaining in Britain. The rare Alpine Penny-cress (Noccaea caerulescens formerly Thlaspi caerulescens) and Spring Sandwort (Sabulina verna formerly Minuartia verna) enjoy the lead-rich soil and there are many mosses and lichens including the rare moss Ditrichum plumbicola.

Sunday: Brean Down.

Leader: Stephen Parker

Meet at 10:30 in the National Trust car park (ST296585). This is a visit to the spectacular Brean Down to explore the rich limestone flora at the western end of the Mendip Hills. The walk to Brean Down is via a short but relatively steep hill. Walking boots are recommended. Café and toilets at start of walk. The site is well known for White Rock-rose Helianthemum apenninum at one of its few locations in the British Isles. Please note the plant may have finished flowering by mid-June. Other interesting species include Somerset Hair-grass ( Koeleria vallesiana), Ivy Broomrape (Orobanche hederae) , Dwarf Sedge (Carex humilis) and Moonwort (Botrychium lunaria). The sea cliffs are good for Rock Samphire (Crithmum maritimum), Sea Fern-grass (Catapodium marinum) and Thrift (Armeria maritima).

To book, contact: Janet John or phone 01753 884490

Tuesday 22nd and Wednesday 23rd June 2021: North Wales

Tuesday: Pensarn Beach and Llanddulas Quarry, Abergele

Leader: Delyth Williams

Meet at 10:30 in Pensarn by the Beach Cafe (SH9430 7862). There is plenty of free car parking although there is a height barrier at 2.1m. Also toilets here. The station is just over the railway line about 500m away, although not all trains stop there. The nearest larger station is Rhyl, about five minutes drive to the East or Colwyn Bay about ten minutes drive to the West. We can arrange to pick up from Rhyl or Colwyn Bay Stations if needed. If required please mention this when booking. The terrain is flat along the beach path, but the beach has pebbles and flat stones so stout boots with ankle support are recommended. Bring hats and suncream if sunny but, be aware, this is Wales, so bring waterproofs too! The habitat is obvious, seashore! Amongst other plants we will see Saltwort (Salsola kali), Ray's Knotgrass (Polygonum oxyspermum), Sea Spurge (Euporbia paralias), Yellow-horned Poppy (Glaucium flavum) and Sea Sandwort (Honckenya peploides.) Oyster Plant (Mertensia maritima) has not been seen for many years now but we can look! We will drive from Pensarn to our afternoon session at Llanddulas, giving a lift to those that require one. There will not be steep slopes but wet turf requires footwear with a good grip. The habitat is chalk grassland. Plants to be seen include Hairy Rock-cress (Arabis hirsuta), Orchids – Bee (Ophrys apifera), Green-winged (Anacamptis morio) and Pyramidal (Anacamptis pyramidalis), four types of Cotoneaster, Crested Hair-grass (Koeleria macrantha), Ploughman's Spikenard (Inula conyzae), Wild Madder (Rubia peregrina) and more. We will also chase up on some Euphrasia agg. records. Unfortunately we will be too early to see the Autumn Lady's-tresses (Spiranthes spiralis). You will have to visit later for these!

Wednesday: West Shore, Llandudno and The Vardre, Deganwy

Leader: Wendy McCarthy

Meet at 10:30 in the car park at Dale Road (fee payable) on the West Shore (SH773815). There are toilets just further north near the boating pond (SH772819). The railway station is near the town centre (SH783819). The habitats will include sandy grassland, shingle and disturbed waste ground, so strong footwear should be sufficient. Plants should include Sickle Medick (Medicago sativa ssp. falcata), Eastern Gladiolus (Gladiolus communis), Pale Flax (Linum bienne) and Hoary Mustard (Hirschfeldia incana). If possible, we might be able to get permission to look for Water Violet (Hottonia palustris) in ditches at the adjacent golf course. After lunch we will drive a couple of miles south along the coast to Vardre, Deganwy. Park in the car park at All Saints Church (SH783790). Habitats include sandy grassland, disused quarry and rock outcrops. Plants here should include Nottingham Catchfly (Silene nutans), Small-leaved Sweet-briar (Rosa agrestis), White Bryony (Bryonia dioica), Maiden Pink (Dianthus deltoides), Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum), White Horehound (Marrubium vulgare) and several Cotoneasters. Wet weather gear and/or sun hats and sun cream depending on the weather!

To book, contact : Janet John or phone 01753 884490

Wednesday 30th June and Thursday 1st July 2021: Staffordshire

Leader: Martin Godfrey

Over the 2 days we will visit two very contrasting sites – Cannock Chase and the Manifold Valley

Wednesday: Cannock Chase

Meet at 10:30. Park at the Glacial Boulder (SJ97951817). Cannock Chase is a huge area of heathland in central Staffordshire. The habitat we will visit is stony heath dissected by stream valleys. It is a Special Area of Conservation based on its heathers. We will visit heath and two of the valleys - one has a very interesting mire with Marsh Fern (Thelypteris palustris) and Wood Horsetail (Equisetum sylvaticum), as well as a variety of sedges, whilst the other has Alder woodland with a lot of Marsh Violet (Viola palustris). There is also a small ancient oak wood. We would then pay a visit to a local wetland, Doxey Marsh. Some really nice plants are to be seen there including Flowering Rush (Butomus umbellatus), both water plantains and Tubular Water-dropwort (Oenanthe fistulosa). It has good easy tracks and, provided that it doesn't rain much prior to the visit, can be done in solid boots or shoes. If it does rain it floods in places (it is an active flood plain) but is fine in wellies. Walking is over rolling open ground with some wet areas. You will need to bring lunch and drinks.

Thursday: Manifold Valley

Meet at 10:30. Park at Wetton Mill (SK09475609). There is a tea shop opposite the parking area which opens at 10:00 for early arrivals. The Manifold Valley is a narrow river valley over limestone with steep areas of limestone grassland and scrub on either side. It has a good range of limestone plants plus some which are scarce; Jacob’s Ladder (Polemonium caeruleum) being the best of these. Orpine (Hylotelephium telephium), Hairy Violet (Viola hirta), Mountain Pansy (Viola lutea), Mountain Currant (Ribes alpinum) and Sweet Cicely (Myrrhis odorata) are all abundant. The valley bottom is effectively flat, with walking on a good track, but to see most, especially the Jacob’s Ladder, some steep walking will be needed. To go off track you will need solid boots or shoes - clothing dependent on the weather forecast. You will need to bring lunch and drinks although we can finish off at the tea shop.

To book, contact : Janet John or phone 01753 884490

Monday 12th to Wednesday 13th July 2021: Cairngorms

Leader: Ian Green

Two days in the hills of the Cairngorms. Ian tries to go to new places when he runs a WFS Field Meeting for us and this is the first WFS meeting where Ian will show us two notable clubmosses. One day will be to go and see Issler's Clubmoss (Diphasiastrum complanatum) in Strath Nethy, which is a glacially enlarged valley. It is about a 3km walk there and back again if we went in a straight line. So it will be something like an 8km walk. The clubmoss grows in NJ0206. The second day will be to go and see Hare's-foot Clubmoss (Lycopodium lagopus) on top of Geal-charn (NH8801). A lot of uphill walking, but it is not too bad. We should see most of the upland species of clubmosses on these two days as well as many other upland plants such as Intermediate Wintergreen (Pyrola media), Upland Eyebright (Euphrasia frigida), Dwarf Cornel (Cornus suecica) and Trailing Azalea (Kalmia procumbens). A fair bit of rough walking (including some steep slopes) and perhaps some scrambling will be necessary, so requiring a good level of fitness for this meeting. Details of each day will be sent to booked participants nearer the time.

To book, contact : Janet John or phone 01753 884490

Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th July 2021: Sussex

Friday: Amberley Wildbrooks, West Sussex

Leader: Sue Denness

Meet at 10:30 in School Road, Amberley BN18 9NA, (TQ031130). Parking will mainly be in School Road and there is also some parking in Hogg Lane and East Street. We will be walking through the village and down onto the Wildbrooks (TQ030132). This is an SSSI of over 300 hectares comprising grazing marshes alongside the River Arun. These are intersected by drainage ditches where there is a great diversity of water plants. We should see a range of species such as Marsh Ragwort (Jacobaea aquatica), Greater Tussock-sedge (Carex paniculata), Lesser Water-parsnip (Berula erecta), Frogbit (Hydrocharis morsus-ranae) and Potamogeton crispus (Curled Pondweed).

Saturday: Swanbourne Lake, Arundel, Sussex

Leader: Gareth Bursnall and Priscilla Nobbs

Meet 10:30 at the Wetlands Centre car park, Mill Road, Arundel. Swanbourne Lake is in a stunning location close to Arundel Castle, with wonderful scenery across the South Downs. The meeting will consist of a walk around the lake where we should see Hart’s-tongue (Asplenium scolopendrium), Deadly Nightshade ( Atropa belladonna), Nettle-leaved Bellflower (Campanula trachelium), Yellow Loosestrife (Lysimachia vulgaris) and Mare’s-tail (Hippuris vulgaris), plus large tussocks of Greater Tussock-sedge (Carex paniculata). The downland area above the lake should introduce us to some interesting plants such as Common Gromwell (Lithospemum officinale), Bastard Toadflax (Thesium humifusum), Common Calamint (Clinopodium ascendens), Round-headed Rampion (Phyteuma orbiculare), Sussex’s county flower, and White Horehound (Marrubium vulgare.)

To book, contact: Janet John or phone 01753 884490

Friday 3rd to Monday 8th September 2021: AGM and Members’ Weekend, Margam Discovery Centre, Margam, Port Talbot

We hope to be able to hold the AGM and Members’ Weekend as planned for last year. Accommodation is available at the Centre. Bookings made for 2020 have been carried forward but there are still a few rooms free. These are available on a sole or twin basis. The prices for 2021 are not yet ready but last year’s prices for full board, including breakfast, packed lunch and dinner, per person, per night were: sole occupancy £49.25, twin £41.75. Five of the rooms are accessible rooms with en-suite wet-rooms.

Anyone wishing to stay there should contact the General Secretary, Sheila Wynn, as the office at Margam is not operating at present.

For those travelling by train, the nearest station is Port Talbot Parkway. The centre can arrange collection from there at 4pm.

On Saturday morning there will be a meeting at the Ogmore estuary, followed by a buffet lunch and the AGM at the centre.

On Sunday we will visit the Oxwich Dunes NNR on the Gower peninsula, with the option to also visit salt marsh sites on the north coast of the peninsula.

On Monday we will visit sites to the east of Margam. Full details will be published in the Summer issue of the magazine.

For more information or queries contact Sheila Wynn or phone: 01200 425813

One Day Meetings 2021

As well as the One Day Meetings listed, it is possible in some cases, as listed below, to attend one of the days of a two day meeting (see above).

Please be sure to inform the leader/s of which days you intend to attend.

June 5th and 6th Somerset (Dunster and Minehead)

June 17th and 18th Sefton Coast (Ainsdale and Crosby)

June 19th and 20th Somerset (Brean Down and Mendips)

June 22nd and 23rd North Wales (Abergele and Llandudno)

June 30th and July 1st Staffordshire (Cannock Chase and Manifold Valley)

July 23rd and 24th Sussex (Arundel and Amberley)

Saturday 6th March 2021: Spring Hunt, Rufford, near Ormskirk, Lancashire

Leader: Marion Chappell

Meet for a 10:30 in the Car Park at Rufford Station, Station Road, Rufford, L40 1TB (SD467156) for a flat walk beside canal and along field paths to Mere Sands Wood (Lancashire WT Nature Reserve).

To book, contact: Janet John or phone 01753 884490

Sunday 7th March 2021: Spring Hunt, Wymondham, Norfolk

Stephen Clarkson

10:30 start. Meet at Bill and Carol Hawkins’ house 2, Smithson Close, Wymondham, Norfolk, NR18 0SU and please park neatly. Wymondham has shown us some unusual plants in the past but this is to find as many species as we can in flower at this early time of the year. After the meeting there will be a chance to socialise at Bill and Carol’s for tea and cakes.

To book, contact: Janet John or phone 01753 884490

Sunday 11th April 2021: Weeting Heath, Norfolk

Leader: Stephen Clarkson

Meet at 10:30 in the car park for Weeting Heath Nature Reserve, Norfolk, IP27 0QF (TL757881). A donation for parking would be welcomed by the warden. Our aim is to see all three rare Breckland species of Speedwell (Veronica). The numbers for 2018 were outstanding. Where we will visit is on private land and is also adjacent to a possible breeding site for Stone Curlew, where we should find Rare Spring-sedge (Carex ericetorum). (We will need to check nearer the time as Covid restrictions may apply.)

To book, contact: Janet John or phone 01753 884490

Saturday 24th April 2021: Hedgerley, Buckinghamshire

Leaders: Janet and Gwyndaf John

Meet at 10:30 in Hedgerley and park alongside the pond, just past the White Horse pub. We will have the opportunity to see spring flowers in various habitats including the village pond, an RSPB wood, the churchyard and the church glebe, which is a damp meadow. We should see Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris), Bogbean (Menyanthes trifoliata) and a number of different Speedwells (Veronica) spp., amongst other plants.

To book, contact: Janet John or phone 01753 884490

Monday 26th April 2021: Morning: Lower Moor Farm Reserve. Afternoon: The Warren, Barnsley, Wilts & Gloucs

Leaders: Pauline and Richard Wilson

Meet at 10.30 at Lower Moor car park, with visitor centre and toilets. Grid ref: SU007938. Post code: GL7 6EA What3words: Spurted.snowmen.outdoors (What3words is a geocode system for the communication of locations with a resolution of three metres.) Nearest village Somerford Keynes. Bring packed lunch and drinks for the day. We will visit Clattinger Farm, part of the reserve, which has masses of Fritillaries (Fritillaria meleagris). After lunch we will drive to The Warren, which is a Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust S.S.S.I. reserve known for Pasqueflower (Pulsatilla vulgaris) and there should be Early-purple Orchids (Orchis mascula). Parking is limited on the roadside, so numbers will be limited if car share is not possible. The hillside is fairly steep, but it is possible to contour round. No facilities, but there are nearby pubs which may be open.

To book, contact: Janet John or phone 01753 884490

Wednesday 5th May 2021: Cockmarsh, Cookham, Berkshire

Leaders: Janet and Gwyndaf John

Meet at 10:30 in the small NT car park on the right hand side as you go on the B4447 from Cookham centre along the High Street (SU 893854). Cock Marsh is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is home to many rare plants. It is an area of flat water meadows and steep chalk hillsides on the River Thames. It has been common land used for grazing since 1272. Plants we hope to see include Water-violet (Hottonia palustris), Meadow Saxifrage (Saxifraga granulata) and Caper Spurge (Euphorbia lathyris). Otherwise there is a selection of bog-loving plants on the marsh and chalk-loving plants on the hill.

To book, contact: Janet John or phone 01753 884490

Thursday 6th May 2021: Merry’s Meadows and Priors Coppice, Rutland

Leader: Geoffrey Hall

The Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust have given permission for us to visit two of their Reserves. We will visit one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The two are very different.

Merry’s Meadows (SK937157)

Meet at 10:30. The reserve lies in NE Rutland, 1.5km north of the village of Greetham and 1km west of Stretton Park, near the T-junction directly opposite Great Lane, along part of the Viking way. Merry’s Meadows is one if the best meadows left in the county with over 1,000 Green-winged Orchids (Anacamptis morio) in early May. Merry’s Meadows also has Fragrant Orchid (Gymnadenia conopsea), Adder’s-tongue (Ophioglossum vulgatum), Water Avens (Geum rivale) and Dyer’s Greenweed (Genista tinctoria). Habitats include dry, unimproved, neutral grassland, field ponds and hedges. More information can be found here: Merrys Meadows

We will then travel, about 30 mins ride to:

Priors Coppice (SK 832049)

The reserve is situated south of Braunston village near Oakham. From Braunston take the road towards Leighfield. After negotiating a sharp left-hand bend at the top of the hill take the next right turn, sign-posted to Leighfield Lodge. Proceed another 800m and the reserve car park is on the right, just before a gate across the road. Waterproof footwear is always recommended. This is a species-rich woodland, one of the best in Rutland. It is an ancient ash-maple and ash-wych elm woodland, probably a relic of the wildwood which covered all of Rutland at one time – see Priors Coppice. Prior’s Coppice has 5 species of Dryopteris (Ferns), Broad-leaved Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine), Early-purple Orchid (Orchis mascula), Herb-Paris (Paris quadrifolia), Wood-sorrel (Oxalis acetosella), Sanicle (Sanicula europaea) and Wood Speedwell (Veronica montana) - I can’t guarantee that all these will be on show, but the sheets of flowers on the woodland floor are worth seeing.

To book, contact: Janet John or phone 01753 884490

Wednesday 12th May 2021: Bernwood Forest and Bernwood Meadows, Buckinghamshire

Leader: Roger Heath-Brown

Meet at 10.30 in the Bernwood Forest car park (SP611117). There should be a good display of spring flowers in both the woodland and the meadows, particularly Green-winged Orchid (Anacamptis morio) and Adder’s-tongue (Ophioglossum vulgatum).

To book, contact: Janet John or phone 01753 884490

Wednesday 26th May 2021: New Buckenham Common, Norfolk

Leader: Carol Hawkins

Meet at 10:30 in the small car-park by a children's play area TM090906. New Buckenham Common is one of the finest areas of unimproved grassland in Norfolk. In early summer it displays a rich variety of wild flowers including a magnificent show of Green-winged Orchids (Anacamptis morio). The village itself is most attractive with many lanes to explore.

To book, contact: Janet John or phone 01753 884490

Tuesday 8th June 2021: Stanner Rocks, Radnorshire

Leader: Andy Shaw

Meet at 10:00 at Stanner Rocks. A detailed plan of the location will be sent to you when you book the meeting. Please stay with your cars and Andy will meet you there. Parking may be a bit tricky. Avoid blocking gateways into fields and the gateway into the storage yard by the derelict building (the old Stanner railway station). There are additional laybys a short walk away towards Kington on the A44. We would expect to see all the site’s rarities except, of course, the Radnor Lily (Gagea bohemica), which flowers much earlier in the year. Upright Clover (Trifolium strictum) and Perennial Knawel (Scleranthus perennis) should be at their best (although much depends on the weather). It will probably be a little early for Spiked Speedwell (Veronica spicata). Andy’s website may be of interest and includes a bit about Stanner. Andy Shaw's Website Bring a packed lunch. We will undertake a circular trip around Stanner and will have lunch at the summit. No dogs allowed. (N.B. this is a general rule for WFS meetings.) It is an uphill walk but not too difficult. Check weather before the meeting and dress accordingly. Stanner is very exposed. Owing to the terrain, health and safety, and the sensitivity of the site, numbers will be restricted to 12.

To book, contact: Janet John or phone 01753 884490

Tuesday 15th June 2021: Pot Luck in the East End of London

Leader: John Swindells, a joint meeting with London Natural History Society

For starting point contact John no earlier than 4th June on 020 8981 3553 or John Swindells. Start time will be 18:30.

This meeting will be the latest in a series of annual evening field meetings exploring the botany of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in East London. These meetings started in 2005 with the intention of exploring actual or potential development sites. These can come and go relatively quickly in Inner London where a site looking suitable when the meetings programme is being planned may be built over by the time the advertised date arrives. This is the reason for not making a decision about the location of the meeting until about two weeks beforehand. While there are many fewer development sites these days there are still many quiet, and sometimes rather scruffy, corners for urban botany. The starting point will be a station on the London Underground or the Docklands Light Railway and the meeting will last about 2½ hours. It is unrealistic to indicate plants that may be seen but it would be surprising if participants didn’t see at least one plant species new to them. Interested members could make contact before 4th June but the exact location will not be decided until

To book, contact: Janet John or phone 01753 884490

Saturday 19th June 2021: Storth Cumbria

Julie Clark and Sheila Wynn

Meet for a 10:30 start at Sandside (SD474805). There is parking for plenty of cars along the estuary. No public toilets. The walk will take us along the old railway line for a short while then across the road to Guard Hill and into Storth village. Then we will walk through the lanes and down to the cars via Green Lane. We will also look round a newish nature reserve which has a range of grassland and marsh plants. The plants we are likely to see include: Knotted Crane’s-bill (Geranium nodosum), Great Forget-me-not (Brunnera macrophylla), Lamb’s-tail (Chiastophyllum oppositifolium), Cat-mint (Nepeta cataria) and Bladdernut (Staphylea pinnata)

To book, contact: Janet John or phone 01753 884490

Saturday 26th June 2021: Morningside Farm, Wildlife Trust reserve Wiltshire

Leader: Judy and Richard Gosnell, and Pauline and Richard Wilson

Meet at 10.30 in the reserve (by permission of W.W.T) There are no facilities here. Grid ref: SU093817 Post code: SN4 8QT What3words: trash.divisions.scouts (What3words is a geocode system for the communication of locations with a resolution of three metres.) Nearest town: Royal Wootton Bassett (near Swindon). The meadows have a range of plants including Great Burnet (Sanguisorba officinalis). The disused Wilts. and Berks Canal runs through the meadows, so worth a look for waterside plants. We will then drive to Ravensroost S.S.S.I. for lunch and the afternoon. Nearest village, Minety. (North of Cirencester) There is a reserve carpark and picnic tables. No formal toilet facilities. Grid ref: SU024877 on a minor road. (Map supplied on the day for the journey.) Ravensroost is a large wood with flower-rich meadows surrounding it and a pond.

To book, contact: Janet John or phone 01753 884490

Saturday 3rd July 2021: Pagham, West Sussex​

Leader: Jill Oakley and Helen Dignum

Meet in Pagham at 10:30 at the car park (free) at the junction of Sea Lane, Sandy Road and the Parade (SZ890973). There are toilets nearby. The 600 bus runs from Chichester Bus Station to the Parade. We will explore a variety of coastal habitats including vegetated shingle, former sand dunes, saltmarsh and waste ground. We hope to see Sicilian Chamomile (Anthemis punctata), Childing Pink (Petrorhagia nanteuilii), Duke of Argyll's Teaplant (Lycium barbarum), Moth Mullein (Verbascum blattaria), Hare's-tail Lagurus ovatus and much more. The area is flat but we will be walking on uneven paths, shingle and saltmarsh so sturdy footwear is advised. Please bring a packed lunch.

To book, contact: Janet John or phone 01753 884490

Saturday 17th July 2021: Wirral Country Park, Thurstaston, Wirral

Leader: Robert Freeth (Liverpool Botanical Society).

Meet for a 10:30 start in the Country Park car park (cost £2 all day), Station Road, Thurstaston, CH61 0HN (SJ238836). The car park is on either side of Station Road, just before the bridge over the disused railway line (now the Wirral Way). The visitor centre has toilets and a café. Bring packed lunch. The route will include the old railway line, coastal cliffs and the shoreline and has a varied flora, including Dyer’s Greenweed (Genista tinctoria) and Pepper-saxifrage (Silaum silaus).

To book, contact: Janet John or phone 01753 884490

Sunday 1st August 2021: New Forest Specialities Hampshire and Wiltshire

Leader: David Caals

This is a two site visit to the Forest, meeting first at 10:30 at Cadnam to see Pennyroyal ( Mentha pulegium) and Small Fleabane (Pulicaria vulgaris). Park carefully beside the road (SU29411434). If you are careless you’ll crush some of them! Thereafter, on to Hatchet Pond, NE of Lymington (SU36920166) for Lesser Water-plantain (Baldellia ranunculoides), Hampshire Purslane (Ludwigia palustris), Duck-potato (Sagittaria latifolia), Bog Orchid (Hammarbya paludosa) and a cooling Ice Cream. Should you have no home to go to, there could be a further journey to see some aliens on Barton Golf Course. Bear in mind that the world and his wife travel to this area on Sundays in August, so allow extra time.

To book, contact: Janet John or phone 01753 884490

Thursday 19th August 2021: Lancaster Canal and Saltmarsh at Glasson, Lancaster Lancashire

Leaders: Julie Clarke

This is a meeting to look at the waterside plants of the Glasson Branch of the Lancaster Canal and the plants of the saltmarsh at Condor Green. Meet for a 10:30 start in the car park at Glasson Dock, Lancaster, LA2 0DB (SD446560). There are public toilets opposite the entrance.

To book, contact: Janet John or phone 01753 884490

Wednesday 1st September 2021: Grimley Pits, Grimley Worcestershire

Leader: Jackie Hardy supported by local WFS members

This site is privately owned but with public access paths. Bring a packed lunch. No toilets on site. Meet at 10:30. Grid Ref SO83056021 This is a small road off the A443 Worcester Road. This is where parking is on a wide grass roadside verge opposite the signpost for Grimley Village. Look here for Duke of Argyll’s Teaplant (Lycium barbarum) and Common Calamint (Clinopodium ascendens) once parked. Alternate parking is in occasional laybys on this same road; best to avoid going into Grimley village. Water filled gravel pits surrounded by arable crops and cattle grazed fields. These ponds attract passing migratory birds. A site where interesting plants appear along field edges, come and find. Black Nightshade (Solanum nigrum) next to Green Nightshade (Solanum nitidibaccatum), Gallant-soldier (Galinsoga parviflora), Henbit Dead-nettle (Lamium amplexicaule), different occasional grasses appear e.g. Common Millet (Panicum miliaceum), Cockspur (Echinochloa crus-galli). (In 2020 Thorn Apple (Datura stramonium) appeared.) A selection of water edge plants near ponds (wire fenced so binoculars useful) including Nodding Bur-marigold (Bidens cernua), Three-lobed Trifid Bur-marigold (Bidens tripartita), Water Speedwell (Veronica catenata), Golden Dock (Rumex maritimus), Great Horsetail (Equisetum telmateia), Water Forget-me-not (Myosotis scorpioides), Celery-leaved Buttercup (Ranunculus sceleratus). Open field areas with previously planted and now naturalised Chicory (Cichorium intybus), Sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia) and Lucerne (Medicago sativa), Goosefoots Chenopodium spp, Common Stork’s-bill (Erodium cicutarium), Hare’s-foot Clover (Trifolium arvense) and Viper’s-bugloss (Echium vulgare). Terrain can be uneven covering about 2 miles of undulated walking including small section of road back to cars. Option to return to cars for lunch. Walking boots advised. Maximum number 10

To book, contact: Janet John or phone 01753 884490

Wednesday 8th September 2021: Yeosden, High Wycombe,Buckinghamshire

Leaders: Freda Miller and Bob Crabtree

Meet 10.30 in front of The Boot pub (HP14 4AW). An opportunity to explore a glorious SW facing area of Chiltern chalk grassland virtually unchanged since medieval times. By September its orchids will mainly have been replaced by a sea of purple with thousands of Chiltern Gentians (Gentianella germanica) and Devil’s-bit Scabious (Succisa pratensis), but there will be plenty of chalk-loving plants still in flower, including eyebrights Euphrasia spp. to be mulled over! The site is also famous for its rare butterflies including the Adonis blue. The slopes are steep so good footwear advised. Parking in side roads or by arrangement with The Boot. If there is interest we could go on to Chinnor Hill or Aston Rowant in the afternoon.

To book, contact: Janet John or phone 01753 884490

Sunday 19th September 2021: Morston Quay, Norfolk

Leader: Stephen Clarkson

Meet at 10:30 in the car park (NT members free) for Morston Quay off the A149 in Morston, near to the Anchor Inn, NR25 7BH (TG006440) A walk over the saltmarsh to look at the plants that grow

there to include Sea Aster Tripolium pannonicum and various Sea Lavenders Limonium and Glasswort Salicornia species.

To book, contact: Janet John or phone 01753 884490

Sunday 26th September 2021: A Cotoneaster workshop at Cherry Hinton, Cambridgeshire

Leaders: Stephen Clarkson, David Albon and Steve Little

The meeting will be limited to 15 participants. Meet at 10:30 at the entrance to the East Pit on Lime Kiln Road at Cherry Hinton, Cambs. Please park in the layby opposite the Robin Hood pub at 1, Fulbourn Road CB1 9JL and walk round to the entrance gate (about three minutes). The chalk pits here have a large array of many Cotoneaster species and we’ll aim to identify at least 15 species. If we have time we can cross over to the West Pit to look at Autumn Gentian (aka Felwort) (Gentianella amarella ssp. amarella).

To book, contact: Janet John or phone 01753 884490

Saturday 30th October 2021: Autumn One-Day Hunt, Wymondham, Norfolk

Leader: Stephen Clarkson

See the details above for the Spring Hunt on Sunday 7th March to be duplicated here but this time to find as many plants in flower at this late time of the year. Again for a 10.30 start. To finish at Bill and Carol’s and, for those who might want, to partake of an early supper of fish and chips from the local chippie.

To book, contact: Janet John or phone 01753 884490

Saturday 30th October 2021: Autumn Hunt, Lancashire

Leader: Julie Clarke

Details will appear in the Alerts nearer the time or contact Julie ClarkeFor information: contact Julie Clarke or phone 01539 563504

To book, contact: Janet John or phone 01753 884490

Email addresses of Leaders 2021

Clicking the green email addresses should produce an empty email for you to use with your email client (Outlook, Outlook Express or Thunderbird for example). This year all emails are addressed to Janet John. If it doesn't work with your browser then you can right click the email address, use Copy Email Address and paste the copied address into your blank email's address line or you can contact the web site manager, Peter Llewellyn:

Contact email for Web site manager Dr Peter Llewellyn

The Wild Flower Society is very grateful to all those who give their time and expertise when leading meetings. Offers to lead meetings will be gratefully received at any time. We particularly need leaders for one-day ones. In this case there is no need to be an expert or to show rarities. A variety of species in pleasant surroundings is all that is necessary.

Beginners are especially welcome at all meetings. Leaders and others in the group will be pleased to help them if they make themselves known.

Members who do not drive and who have difficulty reaching the starting point of either Main or One-day events should contact the leader.

All those attending WFS Field Meetings do so at their own risk.

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