Extreme ferning

Three of us braved the icy weather yesterday to continue the holly fern monitoring on one area of the Fell End Clouds site. Bruce had found around 30 plants on a recce, but we clocked up 47 yesterday. The terrain is a bit challenging, with deep grikes, loose stones, and sharp rocky ridges between. There were a few tense moments but we all survived without major injury! We counted number of fronds (top score 32) and measured the length of the longest frond on each plant (top score 55 cm). We found a sheltered hollow for lunch, and mercifully it wasn’t wet or windy. We were in cloud for most of the morning, but this blew away in the afternoon, and we almost saw some sunshine! We thought that we had marked out all the plants in the morning, but found a further eight in the afternoon, including a juvenile, so a very productive and worthwhile day. There are more areas still to do in this location, so the final total will be well over 50 plants.

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