Monday 1 January 2018

New Year Plant Hunt 2018: Day Two

Flowers seen in Sussex, 31.12.2017
Image: Kate Gold
The second day of the New Year Plant Hunt and the records continued to flood in, as they did on Day One. There were so many red markers on the interactive map on the Results page that they were all stacked up on top of each other and you had to zoom in to see what had been found where.

The New Year Plant Hunt support team were kept very busy, with enquiries coming in to We realised that the online recording form which worked beautifully on some browsers didn't work so well on others. Do we know why? No we don't! Something to look into once the Hunt is over and we sit down to carry out the post-mortem!

Alexanders in Kent, 31.12.2017
Image: Dave Steere
Our volunteers on the support team did an amazing job - Ciara (now in her second year on the team) answered enquiries, tweeted encouragement to first-time hunters, helped people edit their records when they realised they'd overlooked something or got one of their IDs wrong... 

Ellen and Jo, joining us for the first time this year, soon got the hang of what was required and have also been helping and encouraging plant hunters. Over on Facebook Richard was spreading the word and answering any questions people had about how to upload records and what the aim of the Hunt was.

Tom was amazing as always and very patient with the rest of us whenever we had a technical query.

Hazel: male and female flowers
Stroud, 31.12.2017
Image: @anneontheshelf
In the evening, lots of New Year Plant Hunters shared their finds on #wildflowerhour which once again trended on Twitter, as it has every Sunday this year. It was wonderful hearing #wildflowerhour participants talk about how much they'd enjoyed their first ever Hunt - and vice versa! 

Also very gratifying to receive a message from BSBI President Chris Metherell saying how much he'd enjoyed his New Year Plant Hunt, how impressed he was with the New Year Plant Hunt website and the excellent work from the volunteer support team - and how he'll be going out again on New Year's Day to do another Hunt!

Plants seen on Day Two ranged from the usual suspects to some more unusual finds. Ivy Broomrape and Alexanders were highlights, Meadow Buttercup was spotted several times (usually accompanied by "I can't believe this is blooming on New Year's Eve!") and Hoary Mustard definitely seems to be on the increase - it was recorded in London, Bristol, Kent, Cambridge... 

Ivy in flower in Edinburgh, 31.12.2017
Image: Gus Routledge
Autumn stragglers and all-year-rounders were seen by many people - check the list of frequent plants here - and a few typical winter wildflowers such as Winter Heliotrope and Common Whitlow-grass were spotted. 

Many people also noticed the flowers on Hazel trees and Ivy, which is a valuable provider of winter nectar - check out this blogpost from Ryan Clark, New Year Plant Hunt Co-ordinator in 2015.

So, what will Day Three bring? The first wild flowers of 2018 - watch this space!

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