On Saturday 7th March, Jan Haseler led a field trip to Inkpen. The walk started in bright sunshine at BBOWT’s Crocus Field reserve. Several thousand crocus flowers were poking up through the grass and there were many more plants which were not in flower. For much of the last year, 4 dexter cows have been grazing in the field, which appears to have helped the crocuses. The far side of the reserve is wetter, with springs and damp flushes. Plants identified included Pignut, Devil’s-bit Scabious, Betony and Lesser Spearwort.
The group then walked through the woods to BBOWT’s Inkpen Common reserve. Various ferns, including Hard Fern and Soft Shield-fern, were seen in the woods, together with a collection of lichens and liverworts. Frogspawn was found at the edge of one of the ponds in the reserve.
At the Crocus Field:
Several thousand crocuses in flower, many more not flowering
Creeping Buttercup Ranunculus repens
Lesser Celandine Ranunculus ficaria
Lesser Spearwort Ranunculus flammula
Common Sorrel Rumex acetosa
Primrose Primula vulgaris
Barren Strawberry Potentilla sterilis
Pignut Conopodium majus
Betony Stachys officinalis
Devil’s-bit Scabious Succisa pratensis
Marsh Thistle Cirsium palustre
An unvigorous rose
Jointed Rush (heavily grazed) Juncus articulatus
Soft Rush (ungrazed) Juncus effusus
Cock’s-foot Dactylis glomerata
Yorkshire Fog Holcus lanatus
Tufted Hair-grass Deschampsia caespitose
Bent Grass Agrostis spp.
Fine-leaved Fescue Festuca spp.
Perennial ryegrass Lolium perenne
Snowdrops – single and double forms of Galanthus nivalis
Fungi: Hymenochaete rubiginosa (on large tree stump in field adjacent to crocuses)
Evernia prunastri (various trees throughout the walk)
Lecanora chlarotera (various trees throughout the walk)
Parmelia sulcata (various trees throughout the walk)
Melanelia subaurifera (various trees throughout the walk)
Xanthoria parietina (various trees throughout the walk)
Xanthoria polycarpa (on hawthorn branches/twigs in crocus fields)
Fuscidea lightfootii (large tree in boggy corner of field adjacent to crocus field)
– I am fairly sure of this determination as the specimen fitted the description in Dobson (2005) and habitat type (i.e. trees in boggy areas). This is of interest as it is uncommon in the area but there only appeared to be one specimen so I could not take a specimen for microscopical examination.
Cladonia fimbriata (on large tree stump in field adjacent to crocuses)
The wood between the Crocus Field and the Inkpen Common reserve:
Soft Shield-fern Polystichum setiferum
Hard Fern Blechnum spicant
Broad Buckler Fern Dryopteris dilatata
Hypogymnia physodes (on oak in woodland)
Flavoparmelia caperata (on oak in woodland)
Thelotrema lepadinum (on oak in woodland)
At the Inkpen Common Reserve:
Creeping-Jenny Lysimachia nemorum
Broom Cytisus scoparius
Gorse Ulex europaeus
9+ different mosses under a birch by the mire, including
Biscogniauxia nummularia (on beech trunk at the Mire)
Hypoxylon fragiforme (on beech trunk at the Mire)
Piptoporus betulinus (on silver birch trunk at the Mire)
Daedaleopsis confragosa (on willow trunk at the Mire)
Cladonia coniocraea (on basal region of silver birch trunk on Inkpen Common)
– a test with Potassium hydroxide (KOH) gave a K- negative reaction, distinguishing it from the similar species, C. macilenta.
The fungi and lichens were determined by Dr James Wearn, the mosses were identified from photographs by Dr Malcolm Storey and the remaining plants etc were identified by various members of the group.