Thursday 22 December 2022

Winter Scenes from Shropshire

Winter solstice is here, so the days will start to draw out, ever so slowly. Your committee have been getting together to plan events and put together ideas for 2023. 

Almost all of the Shropshire Botanical Society Committee (left to right: John Handley, Sue Dancey, Penny Wysome, Mags Cousins, Andy Perry and Co-Vice-County Recorder John Martin) positioned in front of a mature Populus nigra Black Poplar at Rea Brook Valley Local Nature Reserve, Shrewsbury. Dan Wrench is behind the camera.

Shropshire Botanical Society would like to wish you all a very happy and healthy winter holiday.  We leave you with a few wintry scenes from Shropshire:

View of Pole Cottage on the Long Mynd during the recent cold spell.

A view from Abdon Burf across to Clee Liberty and Titterstone Clee during a recent temperature inversion.

Friday 26 August 2022

Invitation from The Wild Flower Society

Hello botany friends,

In addition to the Shropshire Botanical Societies field meetings we have been invited to join The Wild Flower Society Members’ Weekend Field Meetings 3rd – 5th September 2022.  

The group will be based at FSC Preston Montford and will go on field trips from there. The weekend field trips include the grounds of Preston Montford, the Old River Bed at Shrewsbury, the Montgomery Canal to look at the water and emergent plants or Llanymynech Quarry.

On Monday, there will be a visit to the Ironbridge Gorge, Telford. There will be a walk led by Martin Godfrey, to look at the ferns of Benthall Edge Wood, which has good paths although these are steep in places. For those who prefer more level terrain, there will be the option of a flatter walk in the woods where there is an opportunity to see Large-leaved Lime trees, Tilia platyphyllos.

Anyone interested in joining in can contact Sheila Wynn (WFS General Secretary)

Large-leaved Lime, Tilia platyphyllos, at Benthall Edge

Wednesday 3 August 2022

Long Mynd - last field meeting for 2022


Hello botany friends,

Now that the weather has cooled down a little we are all able to get out and see what hasn't been burnt to a crisp!

Mags Cousins - our Co-Vice County Recorder is leading a trip to have a look at the species-rich flushes on Novers Hill. Mags has already had a peek and is hoping that although the flushes have dried up, the exposed mud might throw up something interesting such as Littorella uniflora.

Meet at the National Trust car park at 10:30am on Sunday 7th August in Batch Valley, All Stretton (you’ll need change for ticket machine).

(SO 4559 9551), What Three Words:

Mags is hoping to look at the flushes on Novers Hill in the morning, the footpath climbs but it is not far. Then moving to Wild Moor Pool by lunchtime to have a look at the wetlands there. Contact: Mags Cousins, 07873 532681,

Hope to see you there

Sunday 26 June 2022

A marshy meadow in flaming June

Hello botany friends,

Hopefully you have been able to enjoy this wonderful 'flaming June', I can see that everything is shooting up in the garden!

We are meeting on Saturday 2nd July at Cudwell Meadow (SO44949313), to look at a site that featured in the Spring 2021 newsletter.

We are meeting at 10.00am in the Cemetery Road layby, (What Three Words: off Ludlow Road, Church Stretton, near SY6 6AA. There are limited parking spaces in the lay-by.

We will start by recording a meadow that is being restored by the Stretton Wetlands Interest Group.  Following this, we will explore some marshy grassland in another part of the ‘Stretton Wetlands’ nearby. Wellies recommended! Contact: Andrew Perry,

A picture of Cudwell Meadow, kindly provided by Mike Carter.

Hope to see you there.

Sunday 19 June 2022

Looking for something Deadly?

Hello botany friends,

Join us to track down some Shropshire rarities on Sunday 26th June. Stevenshill, Cound. Meeting at Cound Church at 10:00am.

Parking is on the roadside near the church (SJ 557 049), What Three Words:

There’s a 15 minute walk south up the Coundmoor Brook before we get to the right area to start recording. We hope to find Atropa belladonna Deadly Nightshade, Draba muralis Wall Whitlowgrass (you may need to look this up) and Dipsacus pilosus Small Teasel - amongst other things.

For further information please contact Dan Wrench, 07718 391794,

A pretty lady? Atropa belladonna, Deadly Nightshade

We hope to see you there.

Saturday 11 June 2022

Melverley Meadows - a Shropshire hay meadow in June

Hello botany friends,

Our next field outing is scheduled for 11 am on Saturday 18th June at Melverley Meadows, a reserve owned and managed by the Shropshire Wildlife Trust.

There is a limited parking on the roadside by the reserve, SJ 5810 4046, What Three Words:, north of the village Ash Magna, postcode SY113 4EA.

The reserve is a series of flower-rich hay meadows and hopefully we'll relocate Ononis spinosa, Spiny Restharrow. For further information contact Penny Wysome, 01952 242617,

What is better than a flower-rich hay meadow in June?

Hope to see you there.

Sunday 5 June 2022

Limestone grassland treat

After a short break, we are back next Sunday 12th June, with a meeting at Llanymynech (SJ 2707 2194, What Three Words: Meet at 10.00am in the Shropshire Wildlife Trust car park, at the end of Underhill Lane from Pant.

This is a popular reserve with species rich Carboniferous limestone grassland and woodland. Orchids may be about but there will be lots of unusual plants to see and admire. The path is a bit steep, rocky and can be slippery in places. This is a joint meeting where we are also welcoming members of The Wildflower Society.

Please contact us if you hope to attend by emailing:

A possibility of seeing Platanthera chlorantha, the Greater Butterfly Orchid, previously recorded at Llanymynech.

Saturday 14 May 2022

For our next trip....

Sunday 22nd May:  Secret Hills Discovery Centre Meeting at 10-12.30pm in the car park (SO 43478 82502)

The meeting will combine training and recording, especially grasses of the hay meadow, river floodplain and damp woodland. The morning will be led by Mags Cousins and we are aiming to provide the Secret Hills Discovery centre with a more complete species list and a botanical training opportunity for their volunteers as well as Botanical Society members. Booking is necessary through the Centre, either book at reception or call Tammy Shurmer on 01588 676060, email:  There are good facilities with toilets, shop and cafe and easy access paths.  You are welcome to stay on after the field meeting and enjoy the Centre and other local attractions. 

Small Tortoiseshell on Ox-eye Daisy

Sunday 24 April 2022

Spring ephemerals and Spring Coppice

Hard on the heels of the first field meeting, the second Society outing is scheduled for next Sunday:

Sunday 1st May. Lyth Hill. Meet at 10:00am. The meeting place is at the car park at (SJ 472 068). We hope to explore both the woodland of Spring Coppice and the species-rich grassland to the south of the coppice. We are hoping that there will still be some spring ephemerals near the car park to find. For further information please contact Andrew Perry:

The event is free, all are welcome to join us, you don't have to be a member, just message us at: to book your place.

Hope to see you there.


Saturday 16 April 2022

Vege Grass ID, Sat. 23rd April

We are kicking off the first field meeting of 2022 with a training meeting on vegetative grass identification.

Saturday 23rd April. Loam Hole Dingle and Ropewalk Meadow, Coalbrookdale (SJ 6674 0476). 

Meeting in the car park of The Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron, Coach Rd, Coalbrookdale, Telford TF8 7DQ at 10:30am. Parking is £5 for the day although there is limited free parking locally.

Focus will be on Hilary Wallace’s FSC AIDGAP VegetativeGrass Identification handbook. We’ll look at a range of grass species and use vegetative characters to identify them. There will be lots of stops along the way, although there is a strenuous climb up a set of steps before lunch in a wonderful series of meadows managed by the Severn Gorge Countryside Trust. Contact: John Handley, 07507 054695,

Holcus lanatus, Yorkshire Fog, and Holcus mollis, Creeping Soft-grass, photo John Handley

The event is free, all are welcome to join us, you don't have to be a member, just message us at: to book your place.

Hope to see you there.



Tuesday 5 April 2022

Arctic Alpines and the AGM, Sat. 9th April

The spring meeting is fast approaching this weekend and we are going ahead with an in person event:

2-4pm, Sat. 9th April, at FSC Preston Montford, SY4 1DX:  

An illustrated talk by John Martin on “Arctic Alpine Plants in Britain”, plus a smidgeon of AGM business and lashings of tea and cake.

It will certainly be great to meet up but we realise that Covid transmission rates are high. We will be in the Caradoc room so there will be plenty of space and ventilation. If you are happy to, we'll wear masks indoors, we might even have tea outside if the weather is kind, and FSC prefer testing beforehand if you can get hold of any test kits (hens teeth and all that). 

That said we are looking forward to relaxing with some mini Salix or a cushion of Saxifrages as John gives us a Cook's Tour of some nice Arctic-Alpine sites and plants.  

Salix reticulata, Net-leaved Willow, photo Mags Cousins

The event is free, including the refreshments provided by volunteer bakers.  All are welcome to join us, you don't have to be a member, just message us at: to book your seat.

Hope to see you there. 

Friday 11 March 2022

Spring newsletter 2022 - hot off the press

We are pleased to say that the Shropshire Botanical Society Newsletter Spring 2022 Issue No. 44 is out NOW featuring Broomrapes in Shropshire by John Handley:

Orobanche rapum-genistae Greater Broomrape, photo V. Munro

The Nationally Scarce Orobanche rapum-genistae Greater Broomrape is bit of a Shropshire speciality and the fine specimens above were spotted by Mags Cousins on a rough, grassy bank near Church Stretton which is sporadically grazed by a few sheep in the summer.  The host plant Cytisus scoparius Broom thrives on this slope as the breed of sheep don't browse the Broom, nor it seems the Greater Broomrape.

The pdf of the newsletter will be landing in members' inboxes this weekend, so if you are a member and have not received it by Monday 14th March, check your spam/junk (oh the indignity!) and if you still can't find it please get in touch with Martin Godfrey (Membership Officer):

The newsletters are all available via the Newsletters page of this website but non-members have to work a bit harder to access them via Dropbox or read online.

Tuesday 4 January 2022

"Broomrapes of the British Isles", a Zoom talk by Dr Fred Rumsey, Sat. 15th Jan, 2pm

Happy New Year 2022!  Hopefully you all had a happy, healthy and restful festive break.  We are very much looking forward to the winter meeting which will be a Zoom talk by Dr Fred Rumsey.  Members will already have received the Zoom link:

Title: "Broomrapes in the British Isles" a talk by Dr Fred Rumsey

Time: Saturday, Jan 15th, 2022 at 2pm (please join the Zoom meeting a few mins early)

Fred was until recently Senior Curator in charge of the British, Fern and Historic herbaria at the Natural History Museum in London, where he worked for 26 years as their British plant specialist.  He is a past President of the British Pteridological Society and Vice-President of the BSBI.  He has co-authored and illustrated several BSBI handbooks, most recently one on Broomrapes. 

The Broomrapes of Britain and Ireland, BSBI Handbook No 22 co-authored with Chris Thorogood, who provided the beautiful illustrations: 

Fred's depth of knowledge of botany is awe inspiring and we can't wait to hear more about his recent work on Broomrapes, an unusual group of parasitic plants. 

Non members are welcome to join us, but please email: to register and receive a link and joining instructions.

See you soon.