BSBI New Year Plant Hunt 2018Five members of Hull Nats took part in the annual plant hunt for flowers in bloom which this year ran from 30/12/17 to 2/1/18. Our first and most successful foray was on the only sunny day and at the most sheltered site, around Priory Park and Ride, Hessle on New Year’s Day. Andrew, Helen, John and I recorded 55 plants in flower, mainly all-year-round weeds and clingers-on, but including fresh golden Hazel catkins and spring Whitlowgrass. Highlights: Narrow-leaved ragwort, Yellow-wort and Cornsalad – and (non-recordable as still in bud) Stinking hellebore.
In my local patch, Newland Avenue, on Jan 1st, a day without buses, I found 25 species, the usual urban suspects, plus Shaggy soldier, a last delicate Wall lettuce and, surviving on the railway embankment, despite the best efforts of "improvers", Winter heliotrope. Richard squeezed in a quick visit to River Hull Mouth monad at lunchtime and had by far the most interesting list, including Thrift, Tansy, Centaury and Cordgrass.
On Jan 2nd Richard, John and I spent a couple of nithering hours (why did we?!) on Hessle foreshore before being rained off. The river side was scoured clean but we spotted some bedraggled specimens on the railway side of the path- in all 25 species, including Blue fleabane, Black medick and Pellitory –of- the- wall, a very poor showing. Results from the whole country can be found at https://nyph.bsbi.org/results.php Not surprisingly, the most varied lists were from the south of England (Chichester, Cornwall and Swanage). Our position (at last count 17th on leader board) is probably a reflection of the appalling weather conditions in the west, plus the advantages of a group turnout.
Gabrielle Jarvis, 5 January 2018