Tuesday, August 25, 2015


This is a catch up - we have been busy!

A while back several of us gathered in the Grwyne Fechan Valley for unfinished business from last year. Mike and Chris would do the lane near the car and three of us set up along McNamara's Road to explore the upper valley.
Passing a Beet field with plenty of arable weed species
 Crossing the Grwyne Fechan at Tal y Maes Bridge 
We completed the exploration of the target squares started by myself last year and established that one of my imagined species from last year probably wasn't there after all...

My camera didn't come out of the bag so the pictures above are thanks to Sue. We got back to the cars all at roughly the same time, Mike had found many different Brambles amongst a long list and our circular tour had given us plenty to record.

Then two of us went back to restricted areas to complete the National Plant Monitoring Scheme work and look at a field for the landowners.

I don't like trying to identify Burdocks so this went into my records as uncertain:
Wood Burdock, Cyngaf bach or Arctium nemorosum; or is it?

We found substantial numbers of this again:
Mountain Pansy, Trilliw y mynydd or Viola lutea

It doesn't make the Brecknock Rare Plant Register - based on records made in the 1980s but it looks like it will stay off it going forward from recent results - good news.

Heather, Grug or Calluna vulgaris
- flourishing where all but the most adventurous sheep have been kept out.

And here is a Harebell - photographed solely because it was a photogenic specimen...
Harebell, Clychau’r eos or Campanula rotundifolia

Most recently I actually got physical at Allt Rhongyr BWT Nature Reserve, helping (a little) with Bracken slashing, and then went around the reserve finding Autumn Gentian Sites and taking these photographs which I think illustrate what a great reserve it is.

Autumn Gentian, Felwort, Crwynllys yr hydref or Gentianella amarella (picture taken in 2013)

Stop Press: these just in from Sue who was there last Saturday.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Some nice finds

The weather wasn't the best but at least the roadside grasses looked good in the rain.

Two days surveying for the National Plant Monitoring Scheme in a restricted area (with permission) proved rewarding with this find stumbled upon walking between two sites:
Mountain Pansy, Trilliw y mynydd or Viola lutea

And on the second day we encountered a substantial population of:
Stag's-horn Clubmoss, Cnwp-fwsogl corn carw or Lycopodium clavatum

With a common enough flower nearby - it just wasn't the usual colour:
Common Centaury, Y ganrhi goch or Centaurium erythraea, mostly white (one exception just visible)

And then in a roadside gravelly verge we found first one and then many plants of this plantain, more normally associated with locations near the sea. It seems 350 metres altitude in western Brecknock will do it nicely as well:
Buck's-horn Plantain, Llyriad corn carw or Plantago coronopus

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Where Rivers Join

This is where the Elan (left) flows into the Wye; the Elan, of course, lacking the water taken for water supplies in England and Wales. It is right in the 1km square I have chosen to focus on in that area so on Thursday we set off from a parking spot near the picture.

We started by making for the sites of some interesting old records on the slopes above the river. The going was difficult due to the Bracken but we explored some good stone outcrops with interesting finds.

Joan spotted this, a very easily overlooked little plant, and it turns out the species hasn't been recorded in the whole of Brecknockshire very often at all and only twice in this hectad in the 1980s and 90s (according to the records I have access to).
Bird's-foot Troed yr aderyn Ornithopus perpusillus

Then as we tried to get to higher ground we discovered two good populations of Beech Fern:
Beech Fern, Rhedynen gorniog or Phegopteris connectilis
... which was comforting as the Bracken beat us and we had to make our way down again, via a good population of Ivy-leaved Bellflower on a grassy outcrop near a stream:
Ivy-leaved Bellflower, Clychlys dail eiddew or Wahlenbergia hederacea

Even Climbing Corydalis has not been recorded often in this hectad and in the area only three times before.
Climbing Corydalis, Mwg-y-ddaear dringol or Ceratocapnos claviculata

We finished off our day by recording in the lane where the car was and circling round via a path along the river where amongst many goodies we found a nice population of Corn Mint:
Corn Mint, Mintys yr âr or Mentha arvensis