All walks start off at 10am (so try to get to the meeting place by 9.30am) and usually finish at around 4pm. Meetings are open to all and are free unless otherwise stated. Bring hand-lens, notebooks and field guides if you wish, relevant OS 1:25000 maps and a GPS if you have one. Suitable clothing and footwear is recommended and bring a packed lunch. If the weather is very wet (or forecast to be) the meeting may be cancelled – contact the co-ordinator beforehand to check.
Most of the meetings this year have been organised in East Cornwall where the bulk of the recording effort for the next few years is needed, especially on Bodmin Moor (*) and the China clay areas near St Austell.
Tel: 01726 890384 or 07714738189. email firstname.lastname@example.org
Botanical Cornwall Group Co-ordinator – Ian Bennallick Lower Polmorla, St. Wenn, Bodmin, Cornwall, PL30 5PE.
Botanical Cornwall 2013
Number 15 is in preparation for publishing in 2011, so if you have any new of interesting records, or wish to submit an article regarding recording in Cornwall and/or the Isles of Scilly please contact the editors:
>> I.J. Bennallick and
>> D.A. Pearman
Botanical Cornwall 2010
>> Download BC2010 here (pdf 4Mb)
Botanical Cornwall 14 (2010) is available as a printed document from ERCCIS, Five Acres, Allet, Truro, Cornwall, TR4 9DJ for £7 incl. p&p in UK (please send a cheque made out to Cornwall Wildlife Trust)
>> Next county
Report on 2012
It has been an interesting year for species we had thought were probably extinct in Cornwall or getting very close to being declared so. John Sproull found a huge colony of Marsh Clubmoss (Lycopodiella inundata) at Park Pit (SX17) on the southern edge of Bodmin Moor, on an old mica dam as part of old china clay workings. This hadn't been seen at it's last remaining site (Retire Common SX06) since 2008 despite regular searching. As I was mapping the colony at Park Pit I came across two patches of Stag's-horn Clubmoss (Lycopodium clavatum) a species recorded sparingly in the past with the last record (probably correct, as it was for a site very close to Park Pit) in the late 1980s.
Then a chance comment by a friend of Nick Sleep mentioned that she had Corn Buttercup (Ranunculus arvensis) in her garden gathered from seed from plants she found in her arable fields near St Dominick, on the west side of the River Tamar, last seen there in 2000 (but unreported). This has always been rarely recorded in Cornwall and the last one is for 1974 near Liskeard (SX36), but without a specific locality. We searched the field in late summer and Paul Gainey found a few plants with their fantastic spiny seeds and bright yellow flowers, in roughly the place where they had been seen before. Interestingly the field has several arable plant species which were recorded as associates to Ranunculus arvensis in its Devon sites by Nick Stewart a few years ago.
A very late record came to light (yesterday!) and we can now confirm that Shepherd's-needle (Scandix pecten-veneris) is no longer considered extinct in Cornwall. It had hung on - JUST- on a bit of open Cornish hedge/wall next to previously cultivated fields at Porth Joke (SW76) until 2005, when just one plant was found by Hazel Meredith, down from about 60 plants in 1986. A couple of days ago, a friend of a friend of Hazel's presented her with a fruit which she knew was from Shepherd's-needle. It transpired that on a tenanted farm south of St Issey (SW97) the tenant farmer had got his combine harvester clogged with the plant's seeds whilst combining in part of a field. It was abundant in an area of about 50 m by 20 m. On a visit yesterday the field is now under winter corn, but (much to the farmer's dismay) I found many small seedlings, but have arranged to collect some plants before the field is sprayed next year.
With the re-discovery of Perennial Centaury (Centaurium scilloides), Beech Fern (Phegopteris connectilis) and Blunt-flowered Rush (Juncus subnodulosus) in Cornwall in the last couple of years it shows that chance discovery or educated guesses may provide us with others in 2013. Can anyone find Strapwort (Corrigiola litoralis) at Loe Pool (SW62), or Purple Spurge (Euphorbia peplis) or Cottonweed (Otanthus maritimus) on a beach somewhere?
One species which we would like to find, or at least get the most recent record date, is Small-flowered Tongue-orchid (Serapias parviflora). All enquiries I have made leads to 2008 as the most recent year seen on its sole British site, in a field near Penlee Point, SX44. If anyone has seen it since then PLEASE let me know.
>> Ian Bennallick (Botanical Cornwall Group co-ordinator)
>> Davey’s Tentative List 1902 (pdf 6.6 MB)
>> Davey’s Flora of Cornwall 1909 (pdf 14 MB)
News and events
Indoor Meeting: Saturday 8th February 2014 – Cornwall Wildlife Trust HQ, Allet, near Truro 9.30am – 3ish pm.
The yearly indoor meeting will include a review of botanical happenings of 2013 in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly by Ian Bennallick, Colin French and Rosemary Parslow, a chance to view slides and photos, sell, donate or swap books, journals or other botanical related material, organise trips for 2014 and have a good chat! Colin French will give an update on the developments of the ERICA database and may be?? able to update those who have it on their computers during the day (but contact Colin prior to the meeting). Meet at Cornwall Wildlife Trust HQ, Allet, near Truro SW794485. Bring packed lunch or a plate of nibbles to share.
Saturday 28th December 2013 – Porth, Newquay, SW86. A mid-winter walk around the eastern part of the town and coastal area for early flowers and updating under-recorded squares SW8262, SW8362, SW8263 and SW8363. Meet by the bridge at Porth SW83206288. Parking may be limited so try to find parking spaces nearby. There is a pay and display car park at Porth Beach tourist park (open 8am to 5pm, £1 per hour or £6 all day) but you may find it easier (and cheaper) to park safely somewhere on a street nearby and meet at the bridge.
Sunday 9th March 2014 – Torpoint, SX45. A walk around the town and estuary fringe where spring flowers may be already showing and updating records in 1km squares. Meet at free car park at Thanckes Park SX43215566.
All walks start off at 10am (so try to get to the meeting place by 9.30am) and usually finishes at around 4pm. Meetings are open to all and are free unless otherwise stated. Bring hand-lens, notebooks and field guides if you wish, relevant OS 1:25000 maps and a GPS if you have one. Suitable clothing and footwear is recommended and bring a packed lunch.
If the weather is very wet, snowy or windy (or forecast to be) the meeting may be cancelled – contact the co-ordinator beforehand to check.
Botanical Cornwall Group Co-ordinator – Ian Bennallick Lower Polmorla, St. Wenn, Bodmin, Cornwall, PL30 5PE
Tel: 01726 890384 or 07714 738189. email email@example.com
Ferns, Clubmosses, Quillworts and Horsetails of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
Rosaline Murphy, Christopher Page, Rosemary Parslow and Ian Bennallick
Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have a remarkably rich and varied fern flora, and this book is the culmination of many years of study of these enigmatic plants. An invaluable guide to over 70 ferns, clubmosses, quillworts and horsetails, this book covers species (both native and introduced), subspecies, varieties and hybrids. Each account has a short description of the plant where relevant; the distribution in Europe (including the British Isles); and habitats and distribution in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Maps show distribution on a tetrad basis in Cornwall and at a finer resolution in the Isles of Scilly. Scanned images of actual specimens are given where these help and colour photographs are included throughout. The introduction covers the various habitats in Cornwall, the climate, soils and geology and the effects of such activities as mining and china clay workings, and the special conditions on the Isles of Scilly.
Many interesting records have been made in the last few years. These include the 2012 finds on the edge of Bodmin Moor: populations of Marsh Clubmoss, a species that has always been extremely rare in Cornwall and is now Nationally Scarce and Endangered, together with Stag’s-horn Clubmoss, a species previously considered extinct in the county.
Published by the Environmental Records Centre for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (ERCCIS), which is based at the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, it has been sponsored by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation of Biological Recorders (CISFBR), the Botanical Society of the British Isles (BSBI) and the British Pteridological Society (BPS).
If you would like a copy by post please send your name and address and a cheque made payable to 'CISFBR' for £25 (= £20 plus £5 p&p) to Ian Bennallick, Lower Polmorla, St Wenn, Bodmin, Cornwall, PL30 5PE. For more details email Ian Bennallick or phone 01726890384 or 07714738189.
The book is also available to buy from the ERCCIS office (based at the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Five Acres, Allet, Truro, TR4 9DJ) priced £20.