Showing posts from July, 2019

Alien Plants, friend or foe? Greatstone Dunes - 19/05/19

There is currently an interesting debate on what constitues a wildflower verge. This came about as councils were being urged not to mow verges so that wildflowers could grow aand set seed and provide food for insects. As usual, councils don't seem to get it; the neat and tidy brigade don't like wildflowers growing all by themselves, so they would prefer to dig up and till their verges, then sow a non native flower mix instead. A council up north has sown many miles of road verges with such a mix. This is of limited use to native insects who have specific needs from UK wild plants and of course, takes up space leaving less room for native species to exist. It also costs money and has a limited life, whereas native plants cot nothing and will self sustain with minimal management. As such, this blog highlights the impact alien species are having once they escape from gardens into the wild, in this case into one of the few remaining dune systems left in Kent. Imagine the cha

Ruckinge and a small part of the Romney Marsh area of Kent - 19/05/19

I don't really choose where to go botanically recording now; gaps in the recording database tell me where needs doing and I select an area to do from that database. Hopefully, most gaps where recording is necessary in Kent will be done by the end of this year when the BSBI 2020 Atlas project comes to an end. This day it was the turn of an area north of Ruckinge and then a short visit to the Romney Marsh just south of Ruckinge to see what I could find and record. I started off on a circular walk north from Ruckinge, taking in 4 x 1km squares (monads). I often wonder what will be my first photo of the trip and surprisingly for the time of year it was Lesser Celandine! Unknown to many people, Lesser Celandine has two subspecies in this country; however, they can't definitely be told apart except late in the season when flowering is coming to an end. It is then that subspecies verna forms bulbils in the leaf axils deep within the fronds of leaves and subspecies fertilis