New Forest, Burley, 2015

Saturday 6th June 2015

Thank you all who attended, it gave us all a great day with your skills. We welcomed Jane Markovic, a new member from Sway in the New Forest. Her interests are garden ferns so this meeting may have been a bit of a shock.

We started at Woods Corner, looking for Adders Tongue, the site was only found last year by Clive Chatters. Florida was the first to find the patch, which is about 70 meters long 5-6 meters wide over a grassy path and into the Bracken each side. No one that I am aware of did a total estimate of numbers, but must be in the high hundreds if not more. Sori were counted, Patrick keeping records, we wait to see his write up. I think the consensus was Ophioglossum azoricum but we await tests.

As we were ahead of our plans, we had short wander into the adjacent wood, which turned up some nice clumps of Dryopteris carthusiana and Dryopteris affins, Roger said there were 4 different forms.

We moved on to White Moor but stopped to look at young colony of Oreopteris limbosperma, which has establish in a new ditch. Further up the road we saw an old colony growing on old disturbed ground. On other sites in the Forest I have seen it in two rows, growing in wheel ruts! At White Moor the crew became mutinous and demanded rations. Jo provided them with cake and they became almost manageable.

We moved on towards Wood Crates to see the great drift of Phegopteris connectilis but found some near Millyford Bridge! I assume Mike has taken a record (having Mike along is like having a time and motion man looking over ‘yer shoulder). At Wood Crates it was wetter than expected, but the Phegopteris connectilis was as good as expected.

Andrew put a stunning performance of “over the top of wellies!” worth an Oscar. Roger found Dryopteris × deweveri candidate, Pat agreed to forward the location data to Mike and I.

Then on to Ocknell Pond. There have been some old records here for Moonwort, however we were not too hopeful and not surprisingly we failed to re-find it. When Jo and I rece’d this site, Jo found a group of large plants of Adders Tongue, which we thought was Ophioglossum vulgatum. More sori counting, Jane helping, and then everyone counting, shouting numbers to Pat. We also found several patches of plants that looked like O. Azoricum. Karen was particularly good at finding these small plants.
We crossed the road to Cadmans Pool to perform a luck luster hunt for club moss which ended in failure. After that we drifted into the woods where, at a piece of ancient pasture woodland we found some more Dryopteris carthusiana, in a dry area

Andrew has sent some of Ophioglossum material for Flow Cytometry testing.

Mike must have be fed up with me going on about Moonwort because on Sunday night he sent me a record for one plant at Linwood. First thing on Monday I set out to find this location and an hour later I found one stomped on and one good plant! In the afternoon I returned with Jo to find 3 more. The next day I returned with Andrew to find over 20 plants

Ashley Basil

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