Wednesday, 18 January 2017

New Year Plant Hunt

Apologies for the delay in posting! 

I thought I'd start the New Year Plant Hunt on 2nd January, when I got out in the garden with my children and recorded seven wild (weed) species flowering in my vegetable garden!  It was bitterly cold and frosty, which made it harder to spot flowers. 
Six out of seven species from my vegetable garden!
On the Wednesday (4th January) seven botanists met at Llanddulas and in a full three hours we recorded 46 species. The weather was kind and dry, if bitterly cold on the shore (but more sheltered as we walked inland and returned to the coast through the village). 
36 out of 46 species from Llanddulas.
Five out of seven hardy botanists at Llanddulas. 
This was the sixth year of the New Year Plant Hunt and was incredibly popular although somewhat fewer flowering plants were found this year than in 2016. In fact the number of lists submitted was very similar (432 in 2016; 462 in 2017), but both the number of records and the number of species was down. For more details and to view the lists, visit the New Year Plant Hunt results page. In Wales, (by my estimation) 26 lists were created, from nine counties. The new NYPH App was a new innovation, allowing anyone to create records and submit them (potentially with linked photographs) from a smartphone (and there was a desktop alternative for anyone without a smartphone!). This allowed us to watch the map on the results page getting covered with markers. Meanwhile those on Twitter and Facebook could rapidly follow stories, and Louise kept the BSBI News and Views blog up to date as well. Of particular note in Wales, John Crellin wrote a blog post for the Brecknock group's visit to Ystradgynlais, and Tim Rich (the founder of the New Year Plant Hunt?) with friends, completed a list of 60 species in Cardiff. Well, it is the capital of Wales, and presumably the urban heat island effect, plus a few aliens - and of course the skills to identify them - contributed to the longest list in Wales. Congratulations Tim - but well done to everyone regardless of the length of their list.