Thursday 1 January 2015

New Year Plant Hunt: 1st records in!

Ox-eye daisy: Erica Hollis
The New Year Plant Hunt kicked off this morning and records & images are already coming in. 

Erica Hollis was out in Aberdeenshire and found 7 spp. in flower, including Gorse and Ox-eye Daisy. 

Jonathan Mortin found 6 spp. in Derbyshire, again including Gorse, which Martin Jeffree also found in Ashdown Forest, Sussex. 

Alyson Freeman was out in Northants where she found Herb-Robert Geranium robertianum and notes "this was under snow yesterday - always a survivor!" 

Gorse: Jonathan Mortin
Oisin Duffy in Donegal wins the prize for first record of the Hunt - he photographed a daisy in the dark and rain at 00.53 and shamelessly stole the 'first record crown' from New Year Plant Hunt Co-ordinator Tim Rich, who posted Aethusa cynapium at 9am. 
Herb-Robert: Alyson Freeman

Tim went on to shine though - while his pre-recorded interview was going out on Radio Wales, he and Ceri were out recording in Cardiff.

Now please don't get disheartened when you hear how some of our most experienced field botanists got on. They are extremely skilled and have benefited from years of BSBI membership which helped them achieve these amazing results:

Musk Mallow: Tim Rich
Dawn Nelson and a friend recorded
62 species in flower in West Sussex! Last year's top score was 66 and Dawn and friend opted to "stop the clock" this year for a cosy pub lunch and then they completed their 3 hours. 

I know Dawn got a new iPad for Christmas so there may be some nice photos in the offing ;-) Congratulations on her excellent 62 species which were only eclipsed by...

Aethusa cynapium: Tim Rich
A new world record from Tim and Ceri - 69 species in flower in Cardiff today! I understand that's the best score in 4 years of the Hunt, which Tim co-ordinates and co-founded with Sarah Whild - who we hope also made it out in Shrewsbury today as she and her team intended. 

So - what did Sarah & co find? Or Ryan Clark, assisting Tim with collating records this year but also planning to get out into the field to see what's in flower? And what will be recorded before the Hunt ends at dusk on Sunday? Watch this space!

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