Welcome to the Durham Botany Group


For anyone interested in local botany

 

In the Meantime

Given that we can now walk in outdoor places and in small groups (6 max) , the Botany Group committee is suggesting that you may wish to visit DWT reserves over the coming weeks and report back your findings and/or send pictures of plants that you were unable to fully identify.

The idea is that, each week, we focus on one reserve, and share information on what is being found. We would like to encourage people who are interested in seeing wildflowers and learning a little more about them. On Monday 22nd June there will be a free training session for beginners on how to identify common wildflowers – online, using zoom.

Here is a list of reserves to visit (or others that you choose) in June;

Monday 1st Hedleyhope Fell

Monday 8th Low Barns

Monday 15th Herrington Hill

Monday 22nd Rainton Meadows

Monday 29th Bishop Middleton Quarry

So, this week, we are looking at wildflowers growing at Hedleyhope Fell.

Heathland plant life flourishes on the fell, including bell heather, cross-leaved heath, crowberry, bilberry, cotton grass and several rarer plants such as petty whin, stags-horn club moss and adder’s tongue fern.

The heather provides an impressive display of colour in late summer and autumn.

Hedleyhope Fell is the Trust’s largest nature reserve and is well served with car parks and footpaths. The Fell is a common and is grazed by common holder’s livestock year round.

Walking from the top car park (alongside the road to Tow Law from Cornsey Colliery) is on made-up paths that undulate a bit, but the going is fairly easy. The Fell slopes down towards a stream, and some other parts are boggy – so read the reserve information fully to choose a route suitable for you.

So, if you visit Hedleyhope Fell (no car-share though, no toilets, no café, 6 max if in a group), please post your finds here, either as a list, or with accompanying photos. We will be happy to try and ID any that you are not sure of, but it will be interesting to see what you find. This photo was taken a few weeks ago at the eastern end of the fell, and shows the Blackthorn in flower.

Click here for information on this site, https://durhamwt.com/reserves/hedleyhope-fell-nature-reserve/

Take care, and stay safe.

 

Flora of our Nature Reserves

Hedleyhope Fell w/c 1st June 2020

 by Camilla Lauren-Maatta

I really liked the idea of doing a botanic visit to a nature reserve every Monday. Not sure that I'll have the time to do this every week, but we did have a lovely walk round Hedleyhope Fell - don't think I've ever been there in such warm weather and with no wind. Below are our findings. I thought I knew cross-leaved heath but it took me a while to figure out what it was (I hope I'm right?) as it wasn't in full flower and I've never really looked properly at its glandular hairs before.

Flora of of Nature Reserves

Low Barns DWT Nature Reserve w/c 8th June 2020

by Julie Stobbs

A few photos from a visit to Low Barns this morning, the first (for us) common spotted orchids of the year plus wood cranesbill, monkey flower, burnet rose with ox eye daisies and guelder rose. We certainly didn't see an otter (as had been seen yesterday on the reserve) but did see a fox on the road shortly before we crossed the A689 heading home. It disappeared quickly into the undergrowth at the side of the road.

Lesley Hodgson added about her visit on the 10th, Spent a couple of hours at Low Barns this morning, it rained constantly, so photography was difficult, but the flowers were still looking gorgeous. [photos 6-8]. Unfortunately I forgot to take a weather writer, so didn't make a list - not that 2 hours would have been long enough! The hides are locked, but we still saw some nice birds, including a female goosander and a grey wagtail.

See Steven Gater's blog on his visit to this reserve this week

 

About Us

Durham Botany Group welcomes anyone with an interest in the local flora of County Durham, whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced botanist. Our aim is to learn, educate and support. Through regular field trips, teaching sessions and surveys we work to conserve the natural diversity of plants in our area. And it's not just flowers, we explore everything including trees, fungus, lichen, mosses, grasses and sedges.

 
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Aims of the Group

The aims of the group are to:

  • Provide an interest in, and enjoyment of, all aspects of flora, within and beyond the Durham Wildlife Trust area.

  • Develop and share botanical knowledge and understanding

  • Continually improve identification, survey and recording skills.

  • Contribute to conservation through field visits, surveys and recording.

  • Encourage and support young people to learn about and enjoy wild plants.

  • Support the wider aims and activities of Durham Wildlife Trust.

 
No upcoming events at the moment
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Botanical Resources

Links to organisations,identification guides, downloads and lots more

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Durham Wildlife Trust

Durham Wildlife Trust owns and manages 35 nature reserves throughout our region covering an area of almost 800 hectares, providing special places for you, for wildlife and for future generations.

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DWT Botany Group facebook page

Our group has a facebook page. click the above icon to have a look. It's a closed group but open to all, just ask to join the Facebook group,

The Wild Flower Society

The Wild Flower Society is the only national society created specifically for amateur botanists and wild flower lovers in the UK.  We are a friendly group who like to meet up throughout the summer months to see and photograph British wild plants in their natural habitats. The Society has been running for over a century and proudly boasts a number of very eminent botanists and academics amongst our ranks with at least fourteen members having plants named after them!

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Botanical Society of Britain & Ireland (BSBI)

The BSBI is for everyone who cares about the wild plants of Britain and Ireland. Since 1836, we've been promoting the study, understanding and enjoyment of British and Irish botany.

Perennial Sowthistle Shibdon 3-Oct-2018.

Yellow astericae (Daisy family)

A downloadable PDF recording card for yellow daisies with notes on identification.

Galanthus ikariae ssp ikariae Hexham AGS

Snowdrop identifcation key

Snowdrop identification by Mick Crawley A user-friendly ID key.

Botanical Training

NAME THAT PLANT


Easy identification for beginners

 

Further training;

look out for more events, next one in July on both websites

https://durhamwt.com

https://www.discoverbrightwater.com

 

Durham Wildlife Trust botany group – free help, events, etc – sign up for weekly email news and video clips will be hosted here

https://www.durhambotany.org.uk

 

Lots of guidance on beginning in botany – books, lenses, ID keys, apps, etc

https://bsbi.org/get-involved

 

similar to above

https://www.thewildflowersociety.com

 

similar but more of a botanical conservation campaigning body

https://www.plantlife.org.uk/uk

 

kit and books (hand lens at £4 or much more)

https://www.summerfieldbooks.com/product-category/equipment/

 

kit and books

https://www.nhbs.com

 

FSC guide to grassland plants 1 (and 2) - £4 each &P+P from FSC or to save postage cost buy from Rainton Meadows Visitor Centre . But serach the FSC site for other guides that may interest you

https://www.field-studies-council.org/shop/publications/grassland-plants-1-guide/

 

‘The brilliant wildflowers of County Durham’s limestone floral calendar guide’ – free from Rainton Meadows Visitor Centre (but limited stock)

 

Plants  shown - video clips will be hosted on https://www.durhambotany.org.uk

Meadow buttercup

Yellow rattle

Lesser trefoil

Cowslip

Red clover

Speedwell

Oxeye daisy

Common knapweed

Betony

Cowslip

Yorkshire fog

 

Betony

Ox-eye Daisy

Yellow Rattle

Red Clover

Germander Speedwell

Common Knapweed

Meadow Buttercup

Lesser Trefoil

Yorkshire Fog

Cowslip

Contact Us

Spring Sandwort minuartia_verna Widdyban
 

©2020 by Durham Botany Group.

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