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Botany Report 2014
2014 had a remarkably mild start, with plenty of sunshine in Ryedale. Snowdrops more or less fully out by 1 Feb.and at their best ~24th Feb. First daffodils out at Terrington 3rd March.
White and purple sweet violets flowering nicely near Whitwell by 12th March. Blackthorn out by ~9th April, wild cherry and plum opening. Moschatel flowering well by 10th. 24 April both golden saxifrages flowering together neari Hovingham, but no sign of the greater chickweed.
I counted 24 early purple orchids on the roadside just south of Gilling with a few hybrid oxlips nearby.
Herb Paris doing very well in Gilling with 50+ plants. The baneberry was weak though, with one plant of the three broken/eaten probably by deer, only one showing flowers, and that only one spike. Not doing too well at Ashberry either on E side of the road, but the plants on the W strong and healthy (though again only 1 flower spike).
As a result of some wet weather all the roadside vegetation grew incredibly tall and lush. Southern marsh orchids at Castle Howard Arboretum were spectacular 11 June. Horseradish on a roadside verge at Whitwell produced a flower spike the first I can remember seeing.
Bee orchids a small colony in a clearing in Gilling woods that I have been watching for a few years produced 13 spikes this year (some very tiny with only one flower), the highest so far.
In late June-early July something very nasty affecting willows around Gilling, notably goat willow a combination of rust and beetle attack meant many trees looked dead by mid-July although some at least tried to put out new shoots. It will be interesting to see how these trees and bushes survive the winter. Mid-late July had perfect summer weather. A plant of welted thistle found near Gilling in a field edge (SE6276) on 20th July. There was almost no yellow balsam this year - just one or two very small plants, that did not flower. I think this is because the site has become overgrown again.
It was a poor acorn year (though good for beech mast, hazelnuts, plums, and some brambles) but plenty of knopper galls. Numerous haws. The end of October-mid November was remarkably warm, and quite wet. Poor autumn colours as no frost.
On the Ryenats trip to Raindale on 11 May it was great to re-find Pyrola (P. media) on the exact spot where it had been seen 50 years before by Gordon Simpson he also showed us dwarf willow, which is an unusual plant in this area.
I received some very interesting records:
Globeflower at Beadale, Wrelton in woodland this is on an old, known site but it hadnt been seen for several years, so its great to have it back.
- In Spaunton Quarry as well as some fly orchids we found a swathe of Adderstongue, Ophioglossum vulgatum. Estimate 100 plants but could be more. Under dead bracken where it is protected. I think a new record for Spaunton Quarry...28 May.
- The hairy rock-cress, Arabis hirsuta and knotted clover, Trifolium striatum are both in flower at Hutton Common. Got one small patch of former (about 20 stalks) and found three small clumps of knotted clover... 5 June.
Some AONB 2014 Records from Bill Thompson
- Aira caryophyllea (Silver Hair-grass) abundant in Castle Howard tree nursery, SE76E, WAT, 30.5.14
- Asplenium ceterach (Rustyback) seven plants on a mortared stone wall in Ampleforth village, SE587787, VJ, 13.3.14 (this is where Ken Trewren saw a single plant in 2006 it s the only known site in the AONB)
- Barbarea intermedia (Medium-flowered Wintercress) frequent along arable margin by FP, Primrose Farm, Mowthorpe, SE669688, WAT, 26.5.14 (a rarity in VC62)
- Bryonia dioica foot of stone wall, Welburn village, SE720680, WAT, 4.7.14 (apparently only the second record for the AONB)
- Carex muricata ssp. pairae (Prickly Sedge) frequent on verge at far W end of Oswaldkirk village,
SE619789, VJ, 29.6.14 (thought to be the first record for the AONB)
- Carex strigosa (Thin-spiked Wood-sedge) frequent by muddy track in Stittenham Wood, SE66U,
WAT, 26.5.14 and found a few days later by VJ in Robson s Spring Wood S of Helmsley (SE625814),
the second and third extant sites in VC62
- Catabrosa aquatica (Whorl-grass) muddy hollow at bottom of pasture, New River, Castle Howard, SE76J, WAT, 18.6.14 (thought to be the first record for the AONB)
- Cystopteris fragilis (Brittle Bladder-fern) a few plants on mortared boundary wall of Ampleforth Abbey, SE598789, VJ, 15.7.14 (only the second known site in the AONB)
- Epilobium roseum (Pale Willowherb) single plant on trackside, Brandrith Wood, SE707689, WAT, 2.9.14 (a VC62 rarity)
- Hordeum secalinum (Meadow Barley) in small numbers on a grassy slope below Mowthorpe Wood, SE675688, WAT, 30.7.14 (the only recent record for the AONB)
- Impatiens noli-tangere (Touch-me-not Balsam) locally common but very shy-flowering in wet woodland by the Cram Beck below Pretty Wood, SE76J, WAT, 5.8.14 (the second site in VC62 and a colony which has all the appearances of being native)
- Lepidium heterophyllum (Smiths Pepperwort) arable margins by the entrance track to Brandrith Wood, SE710690, WAT, 2.6.14 (apparently the first record for the AONB)
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