BSBI long colour


Co. Down, v.c. H38


Mountains of Mourne
Scilla verna

Recording Card

If you would like to record in the county, then you may download the County Down recording card here. Species lists should normally be within 1 km squares where possible (4 figure grid reference), with rare plants preferably recorded to 10 m (8 figure grid reference). Any notes on rare species found would be appreciated.

>> Down recording card (front) (back)

County Recorder

Graham Day,  Tel: 028 9181 7710 (home); mobile on meeting days: 07764794687.

Recording in 2013

Monthly field meetings were organised in support of the proposed flora of Co. Down and to make records under the new date-class. Thanks go to Daphne Donnelly, John Kirk, Roger Field, Margaret Marshall, David McNeill, David McCormick and Mark Wright who sent records to me.

Visits were made along the western shore of Strangford Lough and mid-Down coast in April and early May to record Cochlearia spp. In mid-May a visit to Rowallane garden produced an extremely large colony of Equisetum sylvaticum.

Mark Wright sent a number of detailed recording sheets from north Down in May and June.  Most notably, he visited Cregagh Glen in east Belfast, where he recorded Galium odoratum and Meconopsis cambrica. In June, Daphne Donnelly sent record of Ophrys apifera from the Belfast Harbour Estate. Unfortunately, shortly afterward she sent word that mowers had cut the plants down.

In early July, Hydrocharis morsus-ranae was found abundantly at Glastry Clay Pits. At this known station Hydrocotyle ranunculoides, Crassula helmsii, Lemna minuta, Azolla filiculoides and Typha angustifolia were re-found. Also in early July, Paul Hackney, John Kirk, Julia Nunn and I re-found Vicia sylvatica, Eupatorium cannabinum, Asplenium marinum, Glaucium flavum and Mertensia maritima on the Bloody Bridge coastal path south of Newcastle.

Rostrevor was visited in early July. Scrophularia auriculata and single specimens of Barbarea verna and Heracleum mantegazzianum were found in the Fairy Glen. A meeting with Belfast Naturalist’s Field Club in the Oak Wood produced Dryopteris borreri, Luzula pilosa, Sanicula europaea, Galium odoratum and by the forestry buildings, Crepis biennis.

C. biennis and D. borreri were also recorded with Bidens tripartita by Shane’s Lough near Killyleagh at the end of July. In early August Dryopteris cambrensis and Daphne laureola were seen at Farranfad near Clough.

In mid-August, Newcastle was visited and recording made around Donard Park and the south of the town centre. A thorough search along the Glen River produced four large Arbutus unedo trees, but no young plants were seen; presumably those seen previously by Paul Hackney and I in 2004 were killed by hard winters. Hypericum humifusum was found on a gravelly road verge in a housing development. Ian McNeill’s find of Diplotaxis tenuifolia behind the Tourist Information office was searched for, but not re-found, probably because of extensive herbicide spraying. Also in mid-August, Myrrhis odorata, Sedum rupestre, S. spurium and a single mature Pyrus communis were noted by roadsides south of Castlewellan.

In the Mournes, David McNeill recorded Juniperus communis, Salix herbacea and Rhyncospora alba on and close by Slieve Commedagh in late August.

In early September, Lycopodium clavatum, Equisetum palustre, Dryopteris cambrensis and Veronica scutellata were found by Slievenamuck.

Diplotaxis muralis (the second county record, and first since Praeger in 1934) was found growing on waste ground by the promenade in Millisle in late October. In November, fourteen colonies of Mertensia maritima (flowering!) and an extensive area of Glaucium flavum were recorded from the shingle beach at Kearney, but Crambe maritima (previously recorded in the area) was not seen.

Bird-seed introductions in my garden vegetable patch have been recorded annually and this year, Amaranthus retroflexus, Ammi majus, Datura stramomium, Nicandra physalodes, Digitaria sanguinalis, Echinochloa crus-galli and Setaria pumila have appeared.


Previous Reports

>> Report for 2012

>> Report for 2011

>> Report for 2010



Rare Plant Register

>> Rare Plant Register 2008 (pdf 1.69Mb).


The Flora of County Down

This is a new project, beginning in 2010, for 10 seasons, to record the flora of County Down for a proposed publication. A new date class will be used, Date Class 5 (2010-2019), as initiated by the BSBI. This would essentially require that there be new complete coverage of the county. Species will be recorded to 1km or better, with mapping to 2 km squares.

The current status of records held on the database Recorder for county Down is:

Total vascular plant records for county Down: 214,513

  • Date class 1: pre-1970:       6,408
  • Date class 2: 1970-1986:   17,519
  • Date class 3: 1987-1999: 105,397
  • Date class 4: 2000-2009:   71,704
  • Date class 5: 2010-2019:   25,097

No. of taxa: 1,872 [all status]

Programme of field meetings for 2014

Meetings begin at the time stated below and last until 5 p.m. or so. Please phone if you plan to attend, as if the weather is unsuitable, the meeting may be cancelled. The pace will be slow and all are invited.

Participation at these events is at your own risk – see the BSBI Code for Field Safety.

Sunday 27th April 1 p.m. Tyrella

Maritime and pathside plants. Meet in the council car park at J472362. There may be a fee charged.

Sunday 25th May 10 a.m. Killard

Maritime grassland. Meet in the car parking area by the roadside of Millquarter Bay, J599440.

Saturday 14th June 10.30 a.m. Castle Espie

Meeting with the Belfast Naturalists Field Club. Survey of the grounds especially the newly created areas. Meet at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Centre; a fee is payable by non-members.

Saturday 16th August 10.30 a.m. Kearney

Meeting with the Belfast Naturalists’ Field Club. Maritime plants. Meet in the Kearney Village car park at J649517.

Sunday 14th September 2 p.m. Greencastle

Saltmarsh plants. Meet by the pier in Greencastle, J241118.