Saturday, 7 June 2014

BSBI Summer Meeting: Part Four

The first report is in from one of the many fieldtrips offered as part of the BSBI Summer Meeting in Perthshire. Many thanks to Jon Shanklin, who tells us that "Scottish Officer Jim McIntosh led a party to the Birks O'Aberfeldy, a tree-covered ravine, with a fast flowing stream, but a fairly easy path to the waterfall at the top.  A group of 8 met up in the upper car park on a fine morning.  Recording began in the car park, where a planted Euonymus was clearly not the native one. More on this later!  

Trientalis europaea photographed
6/6/2014 at Birks o' Aberfeldy
Image: J. Shanklin
"We headed up the left hand track to the falls, stopping frequently to describe the features of new plants, and occasionally seeing more northern species that were unfamiliar to the southerners, such as Phegopteris connectilis.  At the top of the path a wet meadow provided many additions to our species list, with Trollius europaeus in flower and Cirsium heterophyllum starting to show.  On the way down we saw Trientalis europaea, another species new to many.  Having reached the car park there was still time for tea before returning, so we continued into the town adding a few more species, including Euphorbia dulcis which had spread from a garden across the footpath.  

"Back at the hotel Stace III helpfully noted a rare Himalayan species that was similar to E. europaeus but had purple anthers – just like ours did!  All the day's excursions were reported after dinner in the Baronial Hall, with a volunteer selected to speak for a couple of minutes on each visit. As these were often personal views, other members of the party often chimed in with additions to the notable species, and Ian Bonner thought Neottia nidus-avis and Equisetum pratense should also be mentioned from the Birks".

Thanks to Jon for the report and the photo. If you are at the Summer Meeting and have a camera, please take some images for News & Views and send to louise.marsh@bsbi.org