Holly Fern monitoring

Bruce Brown has been organising monitoring of holly fern populations in the north of England, with help from a few of the Yorkshire Fern Group members. A survey of Moughton Common over several days found 205 plants of Polystichum lonchitis this Autumn, quite an increase on the 126 plants previously recorded. Photographs from 2004 show that many of the plants look much the same now as they did then. On Saturday, five of us braved the wind and rain to survey the Attermire and Benscar areas. We were unable to find 2 of the plants previously recorded on Attermire. Some that we did find through previous grid refs were partly hidden under rocks in scree. We found a sheltered place for lunch, then after checking all the Attermire sites we headed for Benscar. The rain stopped and the sun tried to come out – the terrain was quite challenging, but we were rewarded by finding 7 plants in this area – an increase on the previous 4 recorded plants. The extra time spent monitoring meant that dusk was approaching as we headed back to the cars, very happy with our productive day out.

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