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 of £190,000 which has been 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, 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.


The appeal by the Middle Marches Community Land Trust is attempting to raise a figure of £240,000 to purchase the land and to carry out the necessary Land Management work and support the development of the community group:

Item Cost

(£)

Land purchase

190,000

Legal costs

3,000

Professional fees (valuation, advice, negotiation, etc)

5,000

Fencing, gates, pedestrian bridges (2)

20,000

Roadside tree survey

2,000

Notice boards (3)

3,000

Other signage

1,000

Appeal costs including leaflets, posters, fundraising thermometer

2,000

Administrative support (Sarah Jameson, Minsterley Meadows Working Group)

1,000

Ongoing tree works, contingency

5,000

Investment in Minsterley Meadows Working Group (to cover costs of meetings and other expenses)

5,000

TOTAL

237,000

Total sum £237,000

To collect in the Appeal £240,000



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







Tuesday 30 January 2024

Microscopy Workshop 10th February

 


Martin Godfrey has very kindly offered to run a general microscopy techniques workshop for anyone interested in using microscopes. Martin is an experienced Associate Tutor for the Field Studies Council and past President of the British Bryological Society, and has tutored microscopy courses for different organisations.

Microscopes can be used for many different purposes including finding and measuring stomata and looking at pollen and spore fertility, as well as being used to identify bryophytes. As a general workshop Martin will cover the basics as well as providing samples for more experienced individuals.

Microscopes are being provided by the FSC, but please bring your own if you prefer, as well as your lunch! Tuition and samples are kindly being provided by Martin and it looks to be an excellent day. It is due to take place on the 10th February at Preston Montford field study centre at 10AM. Booking is required, please contact Martin Godfrey as places are limited: mfgodfrey49@gmail.com

We look forward to seeing you then.   

Saturday 13 January 2024

Winter Social Sunday 21st Jan: "More than Meets the Eye – the wildlife of Grace Dieu, Leicestershire", a talk by Steve Woodward

Please join us for the Winter Social Indoor meeting, coming soon on Sunday 21st January 2024 - at 14:00 at Preston Montford Field Studies Centre, Montford Bridge, Shrewsbury SY4 1DX.  We can look forward to an interesting talk see below and share a cuppa and a piece of cake. 


"More than Meets the Eye – the wildlife of Grace Dieu, Leicestershire, by Steve Woodward."



Steve Woodward is the joint BSBI recorder for Leicestershire & Rutland and is also the local co-ordinator for six invertebrate groups.
 
His talk will be about his most recent project which has involved a wonderful in-depth study of Grace Dieu Priory grounds. The resulting report is a little like Sinker’s wonderful flora where the soils, and geology are covered in depth to illustrate the relationship between species and place.

The report has been published and is available to buy:


Steve’s photographs, knowledge and holistic approach will have something for everyone - and we can look forward to his accounts of vascular plants that were rediscovered such as Moschatel Adoxa moschatellina and Toothwort Lathraea squamaria and some rarities such as Bog Pimpernel Lysimachia tenella.  


Members and non members are welcome, no need to book.  The event is free, but donations from non members are welcome to help cover venue hire and refreshments.  There is usually ample parking on site and lifts can be arranged from Shrewsbury railway station if required.

Look forward to seeing you there.

Bot Soc Committee