Monday, 30 July 2012

Caerdeon - the first Merionethshire recording week

Following on from the Glynhir week in Carmarthenshire, a new venture was tried last week with a four-day recording meeting based at Plas Caerdeon in Merionethshire. There were 15 residential botanists, some from Wales but some from as far as Hampshire and Kent. A few more managed to join us for day trips.

Summer seemed to have arrived for North Wales at last as we had fine weather - although one group did get briefly soaked in a shower, the other groups on the same day saw no rain.

Sarah Stille's organisation over the previous months had paid off, as she had a long list of sites to visit, and the group split up each day so that three sites were recorded. This included woodland, coastal, upland and farmland sites, so plenty of variety was available. 

I spent the first day in oak woodland (plus a bit of farmland); the second day also in oak woodland but with some wet heath and a lake; the third day in upland farmland and the fourth day in meadows. 

Hymenophyllum wilsonii - Wilson's filmy fern
Highlights included finding a good population of Wilson's filmy fern (see above) growing on a rock in oak woodland and some new finds (by other members of the group) including a new record of Sedum forsterianum - rock stonecrop. Many records for Merionethshire are only known at hectad (10 km square) level and so this week was an additional chance to record in tetrads (2km squares) and preferably monads (1 km squares). By the end of four days of scribing, I had 785 records to pass on to Sarah (not by any means all my own work - thanks to all those I spent days with) and so when another two groups were also counted we must have added some detailed dots to the map - and passed four days in good botanical company, with a good chance to improve skills and learn from others. All in all it was a great success and we're looking forward to next year already although it might be a bit different for me with an 8-month baby in tow? 

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