Saturday 8 June 2024

Limestone Lovelies!

 We will be meeting at Blackbridge Quarry in LlynclysSJ 2781 2417 on Saturday 15th June at 11:00 AM. https://w3w.co/like.clearcut.watch.

This is another site managed by the Shropshire Wildlife Trust. The site of an old limestone quarry, there are many lovely plants to see here including Anacamptis pyramidalis Pyramidal Orchid, Arabis hirsuta Hairy Rock-cress and Platanthera chlorantha Greater Butterfly-orchid.




Platanthera chlorantha Greater Butterfly-orchid 

For further information about the meeting please contact John Handley, 07507 054695, johnhandley11@gmail.com.

Saturday 1 June 2024

Minsterley Meadows Update

The Middle Marches Community Land Trust are fundraising in order to buy and manage two flower-rich Meadows at Minsterley. Amongst many other species, the meadows support the largest population of green-winged orchids, Anacamptis (Orchis) morio, (below) in Shropshire. This has led to their designation as a Site of Special Scientific Interest by Natural England.


The appeal to buy the meadows is now live and will be officially launched on Sunday 9th June at 10:30 am at Minsterley Parish Hall, all are welcome to this event:

https://middlemarchescommunitylandtrust.org.uk/minsterley-meadows-appeal/

The Shropshire Botanical Society is supporting the campaign by pledging £500 and raising awareness through blog articles and writing to Minsterley Parish Council.  Mags Cousins, one of our Vice County Recorders, will be attending the launch which comprises talks and slide show, followed by a walk around the meadows.

You can make personal pledges by email to: info@middlemarchescommunitylandtrust.org.uk 

or by post to:
Middle Marches Community Land Trust
Enterprise House
Bishops Castle
SY9 5AQ



Sunday 19 May 2024

On the Fiddle

We will be visiting Rhos Fiddle Nature Reserve at 11:00 AM on Sunday 26th May. The reserve is managed by the Shropshire Wildlife Trust and parking is limited therefore car sharing is advised.

Meet at SO 2052 8576https://w3w.co/gathers.hammocks.folk where we will meet society member, and Site Warden, John Lydon. For those that know John, they will be aware of his extensive interest in many groups from invertebrates, plants and birds. We are timing the visit in order to hopefully see Viola lutea Mountain Pansies in flower (below).

 


John Handley is co-leading this walk: for further information about the meeting please contact John Handley, 07507 054695, johnhandley11@gmail.com.

Tuesday 7 May 2024

Minsterley Meadows appeal

Many of you will be aware that two flower-rich hay-meadows on the eastern outskirts of Minsterley designated by Natural England as a Site of Special Scientific Interest have been offered for sale.

Following a public meeting on the 6th January a Minsterley Meadows working group was established and has successfully caught the eye of the Middle Marches Community Land Trust who have made an offer which was accepted. They now have until October 19th to raise the funds.

This is wonderful news as the Trust have quickly developed a reputation, over recent years, for successfully purchasing and managing areas for conservation.

This is the largest site for Green-winged Orchids, Anacamptis (Orchis) morio (below) in Shropshire and we would like to know if you as members who like to support this purchase and, if so, to what extent.




Your committee would like to know if you think the Shropshire Botanical Society should support this appeal. If you could complete this very short poll before Sunday 26th May we will take members views into account when we make our decision: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/89ZTXF5

Further details of the appeal can be found here.  

Thank you for your help.

Sunday 21 April 2024

Society spring indoor meeting

The Society AGM is taking place next Sunday 29th April at 2:00 PM at Preston Montford. As ever, we will try and ensure that the formal part of the meeting will be succinct. Once the business has been completed we can look forward to a meeting where our Vice County Recorders, Mags Cousins and John Martin, demonstrate how to use iRecord – the favoured method to ensure your records are verified and end up forming part of our wonderful database. They will be using records that were collected last weekend at Prees Heath, a well-attended meeting where some lovely plants recorded including the Heath Dog-violet Viola canina below:

 


If there is time, there will also be a demonstration of how the records from the Botanical Society database can be downloaded and displayed in QGIS.

We are having a book sale so please donate any books that you think others would enjoy and please bring along a cake - the tea and coffee are provided.

We look forward to seeing you at the AGM.

Saturday 17 February 2024

A putative hybrid between G. lucidum and G. robertianum in Shropshire

Spring is definitely stirring despite the rain rain rain and it is about now when Shining Crane's-bill Geranium lucidum becomes very obvious on the hedge banks.  The photo below was beside a lane in All Stretton two weeks ago, and occupying the same space was Herb-Robert Geranium robertianum (centre, more finely divided leaves), and herein lies the reason for this posting: 

Shining Crane's-bill Geranium lucidum and Herb-Robert G. robertianum

In the past a hybrid between G. lucidum and G. robertianum was said to have been found at 'Mill in the Hole', Bridgnorth, Salop (Daniels Mill). This hybrid is not mentioned in the Hybrid Flora of the British Isles (Stace, 2015), but was mentioned in Stace 1975 by McClintock when it was said to be in a couple of places. There is some uncertainty around the validity of the record due to the lack of a convincing herbarium specimen. 

Michael Wilcox, BSBI member has been researching Geranium lucidum and has asked Shropshire botanists to keep an eye out for unusual looking specimens that could indicate hybridisation. Michael would welcome flowering specimens of G. lucidum to look at pollen and stomata, and would want to receive live specimens of plants with flowers/flower buds and some root (they are shallow rooted so should be possible). Please exercise the usual protocol for collecting specimens (BSBI Code of Conduct), and contact Michael beforehand: Michaelpw22@hotmail.com 

So this is your mission, keep an eye out for odd looking G.lucidum whilst you are out and about, and especially if you are visiting the rather fine looking Daniels Mill near Bridgnorth as it is now known:

From Daniels Mill webpage 


We don't really know what constitutes odd but if you have a suspect, contact Michael Wilcox: Michaelpw22@hotmail.com 


Mags Cousins (Joint Recorder VC40, BSBI)

Friday 2 February 2024

Willow Emerald Damselfly

 

Photograph of a Willow Emerald Damselfly by Steve Cham


This time of year - when you are out and about looking for the early signs of spring - there is a frustrating lack of leaves and flowers - but you would be doing a huge service if, on your botanical jaunts, you might look out for signs of a potential new arrival in Shropshire the Willow Emerald Damselfly.  These insects lay their eggs in late summer directly into branches of willows and alders and similar that hang over slow flowing rivers or sheltered standing waters. The plant in response produces these patterns of galls known as scars which are so distinctive they are actually accepted as species records for this imminent new arrival- as yet unrecorded in Shropshire! Sue Rees Evans would love to know if you see these scars, or indeed the adults later this summer...or if you're very lucky you may see the eggs hatch and the young larvae emerging from the twigs in spring!   Just take a look at these pictures and if you see any signs of Willow Emerald Damselfly please contact Sue at info@shropshiredragonflies.co.uk

Additional photographs below provided by Steve Cham.

Thank you