Wild Flower Society Field Meetings 2020

All meetings in 2020, including the A.G.M. have been cancelled due to the pandemic.

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’.

Members wishing to attend a meeting should book with the leader directly unless otherwise stated in the information. Meetings can be oversubscribed so please inform the leader 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.

To receive monthly updates with details of availablity of places or changes to arrangements in meetings and information about extra meetings contact WFS alerts and ask to have your name added to the mailing list. The Meetings Programme can found in the Spring Magazine and on the website: WFS website

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 reaching the starting point of events should contact the leader 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.

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 2020. 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.

If you have never attended a Field Meeting before can I encourage you to make a New Year Resolution to start in 2020? All are very welcome. At our meetings we welcome and enjoy, the company of experts, beginners and all abilities in between. As one member said this year “I came to Jersey on my own as a relative newcomer to the WFS and would like to thank members for their endless patience and for making me so welcome”.

This year, in the programme of meetings, I have asked leaders to stress the habitat that will be found at the location. One reason for this is so that you can get one step ahead and do some preparation if you would like to. The Field Studies Council’s habitat guides Field Studies Publications are well worth looking at and are light and robust enough to take with you on a meeting. Recommendations for books are always rather subjective, everyone has their favourite, but an e-mail to the leader of a meeting, or to any of the Society officers, would give guidance.

Enjoy reading through the list of meetings and planning and booking those which you would like to attend. I look forward to crossing paths with you in 2020 as we botanise together.

Janet John

Meetings Secretary

The Wild Flower Society

Two and three day meetings Meetings 2020

Tuesday 19th May to Friday 22nd May 2020   Isles of Scilly

Leaders: Rosemary Parslow and Ian Bennallick

This four day Field Meeting will be based on St Mary’s and will, hopefully, include excursions to Tresco, Bryher and either St Martin’s or St Agnes. The schedule will depend on the sea conditions. To quote from the Plants and Ferns in The Isles of Scilly by Rosemary Parslow: “The flora of the Isles of Scilly is unique. Some species such as Orange Bird’s-foot (Ornithopus pinnatus), Least Adder’s-tongue (>Ophioglossum lusitanicum) and Dwarf Pansy (Viola kitaibeliana) are not found on mainland Britain. Others such as Small-flowered Catchfly (Silene gallica), Four-leaved Allseed (Polycarpon tetraphyllum), Smaller Tree-mallow (Lavatera cretica now Malva multiflora) and Early Meadow-grass (Poa infirma) are found in Cornwall and elsewhere but nowhere as abundant as they are in the Isles of Scilly. All three taxa of Ophioglossum ferns have been recorded on just one island in Scilly, St Agnes.”

N.B. The New Flora of the Isles of Scilly by Rosemary Parslow and Ian Bennallick is available from Summerfield Books and is recommended for those participants who want to get one step ahead! This Field Meeting is fully booked, as it was featured in the 2019 Year Book, due to the need for early booking of accommodation and other aspects of organisation necessary for a trip to the Isles of Scilly.

Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th June 2020: 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. Please contact Ro as soon as possible as places may be rationed for these two days.

To book, contact: Ro FitzGerald or phone 01278 741519

Thursday 11th and Friday 12thJune: Sefton Coast, Lancashire

Thursday: Ainsdale. Leaders: Josh Styles and Phil Smith

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 clovers (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 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 : Sheila Wynn or phone 01200 425813

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

Saturday 13th June: Arnside, Cumbria.

Leader: Julie Clarke

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

Friday: 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: Steve Parker or phone 07876 146112

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. To book, contact : Barbara Lewis or mobile: 07752084672

Tuesday 23rd and Wednesday 24th June: 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. P lants 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 1st and Thursday 2nd July: 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 both 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. Walking is over rolling open ground with some wet areas. Solid boots or shoes are recommended and clothing dependent on the weather forecast. You will need to bring lunch and drinks.

Thursday: Manifold Valley

Meet at 10:30 and 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 site. It has a good range of limestone plants plus some which are scarce - Jacob’s Ladder (Polemonium caeruleum) being the best of these. Orpine Sedum 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 and walking is on a good track, but to see most, especially the Jacobs 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 : Martin Godfrey

Monday 20th to Wednesday 22nd July: Aviemore area

Leader: Ian Green

This is a three day meeting based at Aviemore. Two days in the hills and then an easier day with no hill climbing around Aviemore. 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 a 8km walk. The clubmoss grows in NJ0206. Another 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 clubmoss on these two days as well as many other upland plants such as Intermediate Wintergreen (Pyrola media), Upland Eyebright (Euphrasia frigida), Least Water-lily (Nuphar pumila), as well 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 a good level of fitness is required for this meeting. Details of each day will be sent to each booked participant nearer the time. To book, contact Ian Green: Eastview, Alves, Moray IV36 2RA, or e-mail: Ian Green, Mobile: 07724091846.

Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th July: Sussex

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.)

Sunday: 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) formerly Senecio aquaticus), Greater Tussock-sedge (Carex paniculata), Lesser Water-parsnip (Berula erecta), Frog bit (Hydrocharis morsus-ranae), Curled Pondweed (Potamogeton crispus) and Least Duckweed (Lemna minuta). To book, contact : Janet John or phone 01753 884490

Friday 4th to Monday 7th September: AGM and Members’ Weekend, Margam Discovery Centre, Margam, Port Talbot

Accommodation is available at the Centre. There are 33 en-suite rooms available on a sole, twin or sharing (3 or 4) basis. The prices for full board, including breakfast, packed lunch and dinner, per person, per night are: sole occupancy £49.25, twin £41.75, sharing £32.75. Five of the rooms are accessible rooms with en-suite wet-rooms. Anyone wishing to stay there should book directly with the centre, by phone, stating that you are part of the WFS weekend. Early booking is recommended. Phone: 01639 895636 N.B. Do not book for Saturday’s buffet lunch with the centre. Bookings for this will be taken later. 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, e-mail: Sheila Wynn or phone: 01200 425813


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. Details on pages 3 - 9 under the heading “Two and Three Day Meetings”.

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

June 6th and 7th Somerset (Dunster and Minehead)

June 11th,12th and 13th Sefton Coast (Ainsdale and Crosby and Arnside)

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

June 23rd and 24th North Wales (Abergele and Llandudno)

July 1st and 2nd Staffordshire (Cannock Chase and Manifold Valley)

July 25th and 26th Sussex (Arundel and Amberley)

Saturday 7th March: Spring Hunt, 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 email: Julie Clarke or phone 01539 563504

Sunday 8th March: 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: Stephen Clarkson (be careful with that middle letter “el” followed by the figure “1”). Telephone contact on the day: 07503389640

Sunday 5th April: 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. The 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 will also find Rare Spring-sedge (Carex ericetorum). To book, contact: Stephen Clarkson Telephone contact on the day: 07503389640

Saturday 25th April: 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 trifoliate) and a number of different Speedwells (Veronica) sp., amongst other plants. To book, contact: Janet John or phone 01753 884490

Thursday 7th May: 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. Habitats include dry, unimproved, neutral grassland, field ponds and hedges. More information can be found here: https://www.lrwt.org.uk/nature-reserves/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. https://www.lrwt.org.uk/nature-reserves/priors-coppice/ To book, contact: Janet John or phone 01753 884490

Wednesday 13th May: 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 : Roger Heath-Brown

Saturday 23rd May: Teesdale

Leader: Lizzie Maddison

Meet at 10.30am at the Cow Green Reservoir Car Park (NY811309). We will walk onto the Birkdale Track towards Cow Green Dam, where we will stop firstly at Slapestone Sike. Here we will see a demonstration of the survey technique currently being used by the TSFRCT [Teesdale Special Flora Research and Conservation Trust] to map the distribution of the rare plants. The survey of the Slapestone Sike area will be funded by a WFS grant. We will also have a look at one of the permanent sites which has been monitored since the 1970s.  From Slapestone we will carry on along the Birkdale Track where many of the rare plants can be found in the limestone grassland and in the wetter areas around the sikes.   To book, contact : Lizzie Maddison or phone 07975 853781

Wednesday 27th May: 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, email: Carol Hawkins

Sunday 31st May: Ham Riverlands, Richmond, London

Leader: Paul Bartlett

A joint meeting with the London Natural History Society. Meet 10:30 at the start of the cycle path on Riverside Drive (TQ16977177). Nearest best station is Richmond (TQ180751), (NR Waterloo, District Underground) then bus 371 (best) or 65 from outside station to Ham Parade and walk to meeting point. Bring lunch. We may or may not see Sand Leek (Allium scorodoprasum), Hairy Vetchling (Lathyrus hirsutus), and Warty cabbage (Bunias orientalis) amongst other plants. Maximum numbers 16. Please state which society you belong to when you book. Places will be allocated equally to each society and filled on a first come first served basis. To book, contact : Paul Bartlett or phone (020) 8948 2382

Thursday 4th June: 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. Sticky Catchfly (Silene viscaria), 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 9th June: Cock Marsh, 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

Saturday 13th June: Arnside, Cumbria

Leader: Julie Clarke

Meet for a 10:30 start on the shore at Arnside, opposite the Fish and Chip shop, 1, The Promenade, Arnside, LA5 0HF (SD460789). There is free parking on the roadside along the road opposite the Fish And Chip shop (SD459789) and on the shore (depending on the tide!). We will investigate the railway embankment, the shore as far as New Barns and the lanes of Arnside. There should be a good variety of plants to see, including the usual shore plants along with Water Bent (Polypogon viridis) and Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium). Later in the walk we will see Deadly Nightshade (Atropa belladonna) and Common Gromwell (Lithospermum officinale). To book, contact Julie Clarke or phone 01539 563504

Monday 15th June: Ipsley Alders Marsh and Eades Meadow, Worcestershire.

These are two different Worcestershire Reserves to record a list of plants we find.

Leader: Jackie Hardy supported by Warwickshire Flora Group.

Meet at 10:30 at Winyates Green Community Centre Car Park, Furze Lane off Far Moor Lane, Winyates Green, Redditch B98 0SE,(SP081675). We may need to car-share during the day. Bring packed lunch. Nearest toilets at Mappleborough Green Garden Centre, Birmingham Road B807DH (SP086671) on A435. Ipsley Alders Marsh SSSI a rare sedge peat habitat on the edge of Redditch. The reserve can be boggy so wellingtons/walking boots advised. Part boardwalk and uneven paths through woodland edge. Grazed by Longhorn cattle on site. Over 170 species listed including Marsh Stitchwort (Stellaria palustris), Yellow Rattle (Rhinanthus minor), Sharp-flowered Rush (Juncus acutiflorus), Jointed Rush ( Juncus articulatus) and False Fox-sedge (Carex otrubae), Greater Pond-sedge (Carex riparia) and ferns along Dowles Brook. After lunch visit Eades Meadow SSSI Car parking at Broad Acres Fishing Lake, Forest Lane. B60 4HR (SO 981640). Access from Ditchford Bank Road. Toilets and drinks at fisherman’s café. Walk half mile along road to Eades Meadow Reserve entrance on Woodgate Road, Bentley. B60 4HX (SO981647). A natural meadow discovered in 1954 on heavy clay soil which supports several orchids including Green-winged (Anacamptis morio), Common Spotted (Dactylorhiza fuchsii), and Fragrant Orchid Gymnadenia sp. Many summer meadow flowers including Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria), Fairy Flax (Linum catharticum), Ragged Robin (Silene flos-cuculi formerly (Lychnis flos-cuculi), and Quaking Grass (Briza media). Maximum number 15. To book, contact : Jackie Hardy or phone 01527 502084

Tuesday 16th June: 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 then. To book, contact John Swindells or phone 020 8981 3553

Saturday 27th June: Stambourne, Essex

Leader: Stephen Clarkson

Meet at 10.30 at Chapel End Way, Stambourne, and park near the phone box (TL709389) but please allow wide berths for access to people’s houses. To explore the fields and woodland around Stambourne. A repeat of last year’s visit but at a slightly earlier time to appreciate the arable weeds such as both Fluellen Kicksia species and Gold-of-pleasure (Camelina sativa). The woodland ride is carpeted with the rare Thin-spiked Wood-sedge (Carex strigosa) and the rare form of Tufted Hair-grass (Deschampsia cespitosa ssp. parviflora). To book, contact: Stephen Clarkson (be careful with that middle letter “el” followed by the figure “1”). Telephone contact on the day: 07503389640

Sunday 28th June: Dungeness, Kent​

Leader: Owen Leyshon​ (Romney Marsh Countryside Officer)

Joint meeting with KBRG (Kent Botanical Recording Group). Meet at 10:00 in parking area by the old lighthouse and light railway station at Dungeness ​NR (TR088168​) We will see specialities of the shingle foreland and nearby Long Pits including Sea Pea ​(Lathyrus japonicus), Yellow Vetch (Vicia lutea), ​ Nottingham Catchfly (​Silene nutans), ​ Clustered Clover (Trifolium glomeratum), ​ Small-flowered Buttercup (​Ranunculus parviflorus), ​Lesser Water-plantain (Baldellia ranunculoides) ​and Greater Spearwort (​Ranunculus lingua) ​We will walk on firm ground but some loose shingle at times. To book, contact: Sue Buckingham or phone 0797 1230840

Saturday 4th July: Pagham, West Sussex

Leaders: 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. Maximum number 18. To book, contact : email Jill Oakley or phone 01730 266392.

Saturday 18th July: Wirral Country Park, Thurstaston, Wirral

Leader: Robert Freeth (Liverpool Botanical Society).

This is a Joint Meeting with Bradford Botany Group. 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 : Sheila Wynn or phone 01200 425813 (07875 284334 on the day)

Saturday 1st August: New Forest Specialities

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 Saturdays in August, so allow extra time. To book, contact David Caals: David Caals or 01202 814743, or 07907468389 (on the day itself)

Thursday 20th August: Lancaster Canal and Saltmarsh at Glasson, Lancaster

Leaders: Julie Clarke and Martin Sherlock

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 Julie Clarke or phone 01539 563504

Sunday 27th September: 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 Aster tripolium and various Sea Lavenders Limonium and Glasswort Salicornia species. To book, contact: Stephen Clarkson (be careful with that middle letter “el” followed by the figure “1”). Telephone contact on the day: 07503389640

Sunday 4th October: 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: Stephen Clarkson (be careful with that middle letter “el” followed by the figure “1”). Telephone contact on the day: 07503389640

Saturday 31st October: Autumn One-Day Hunt, Wymondham, Norfolk

Leader: Stephen Clarkson

See the details above for the Spring Hunt on Sunday 8th 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: Stephen Clarkson (be careful with that middle letter “el” followed by the figure “1”). Telephone contact on the day: 07503389640

Saturday 31st October: Autumn Hunt, Lancashire

Leader: Julie Clarke

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

Email addresses of Leaders 2020

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). 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.

Uploaded 20th Jan 2020 v1 Updated 23rd Jan 2020 v2 updated 28th Feb 2020 v3, updated v4 31st May 2020