Wessex August 8 2015

Saturday 8th August 2015

We met at the Hatchet Pond Car Park entrance off the B3055 (SU368017) on a very hot August Saturday.

Some of the early arrivals went to find Aslenium adiantum-nigrum growing in the wall along the eastern side of Hatchet Pond. When we decided all the participants had arrived and after a short period of stroking the beautiful and friendly New Forest donkeys, we set off to the northern tip of Hatchet Pond to find 3 patches of Pilularia globulifera.

Our next stop was Crockford Inclosure where we found some more patches of Pilularia globulifera on both sides of the B3054

We then went to Pilley, parked in the little car park at the end of Wooden House Lane and walked north to find several more patches of Pilularia. It was here we found pills.

We had a leisurely lunch in the Fleur-de-Lys pub and then went to see the Adiantum cappillus-veneris (SZ28119885) growing in a railway bridge on Manchester Road. This fern had only recently been found by Jo Basil and was the highlight of the day.

We the went to see Asplenium ceterach growing on another railway bridge at Sway Road, near Brokenhurst Manor Golf Club. On the way there, we stopped off on the B0355just before the Sway Road junction. Here we found another small patch of Pilularia.

This meeting was part of the Pilularia survey inspired by Fred Rumsey. All our sites were historical and all of them seemed in reasonable condition and were relatively easy to re-find. If we could come to any conclusion it would be that Pilularia seems to be holding its own, if not even thriving in the New Forest.

On a personal note, I think the group did not need much persuasion to abandon Pilularia hunting in the afternoon and search for some rather rarer ferns of the New Forest

Andrew Leonard

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