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U3A Botany Group - July 2022

by Kate - 08:11 on 22 July 2022

Outing to Wyre on 19 July 2022

Having cancelled the outing the week before because of a bad weather forecast, 6 of us were well rewarded this Tuesday when we visited the small island of Wyre.  Apart from the abundance of cleggs, the day was very pleasantly warm and sunny, with just a hint of the thunder storms that were to follow later that night.
Last year the group visited the island at a later time of the year, and, liking what we saw then, we had planned this return visit in July.  We were well pleased, finding an amazing variety of plants in full flower.  Walking along the road to the Chapel and Cubbie Roo’s Castle, the road verges were overflowing with really healthy wild flowers in vibrant colour, one of the best being the huge purple clumps of Tufted Vetch.  In one of the gateways we found a mass of Common Ramping Fumitory.
Walking from the Chapel to the Castle, there was a damp area in which we found Tufted Forget-me-not and Blue water Speedwell. The moat around the Castle, although holding stagnant water, contained Water Crowfoot and Common Water Starwort. The walls of the Castle were covered with Wall Rue while at the back of the building, in dampish gravel, we found plants of Marsh Cudweed and Wall Speedwell.
We then moved down the track past Cavit to the shore. Walking along the coast we reached a fine wetland area where we found Northern Yellow-cress, Marsh Bedstraw, Marsh Cudweed, Red Bartsia, Knotted Pearlwort, Marestail, Bogbean, Marsh Cinquefoil, Ragged Robin, Marsh Lousewort, Marsh Ragwort, Pink Water Speedwell and there remains an ongoing discussion as to whether Amphibious Bistort or Redshank.
Having had lunch on the shore, John Crossley, just recovering from Covid, (thank you John so much for coming) decided to head back to catch the mid afternoon ferry, while the remaining 5 began a uncharted trek towards The Taing.  Unfortunately a large group of inquisitive cattle changed our plan, and eventually we headed back down to a different part of the shore line where eagled eyed Phylida made the discovery of the day, some Common Twayblades.  These were not on John’s very comprehensive plant list. Walking back to the pier there was a chance for some of the group to gather some of the Yellow Rattle seed pods lining the road sides.
Altogether it was a really pleasant outing.  Because of the lack of industrial farming on the island, not only were the flowers a joy to behold, but note was made of how wonderful it was to walk through wild grass meadows full of Meadow Brown butterflies at this time of the year.
In all we noted down 110 species which included - Marsh, Great, and American Willowherbs - Heath, Ladies, and Marsh Bedstraws - Sea Milkwort - Arrow Grass - Sea Campion - Sneezewort - Wild Radish - Smooth Ladies Mantle - Lesser, and Birdsfoot Trefoil - Kidney, Tufted, Bush, and Meadow Vetchling Vetches - Toad Rush - Wild Pansy - Hybrid Woundwort - Lesser Spearwort.
Common Ramping Fumitory
Sticky Mousear
Red Bartsia
Wild Pansies

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