Saturday 16 January 2021

Settle Wildflowers - Day 101: New Year Day Plant Hunt 1 Jan 2021 - 42 species!

Wall Lettuce - on Castleberg-with splendid view of Settle

The BSBI (Botanical Society of the British Isles) organised their New Year Plant Hunt to be taken as a 3 hour walk on any of the first four days of January  this year. You can see the results here

On 1st January  I started the plant hunt at 1.45 pm - rather late!! - but it looked the sunniest of the four available days, parking on Church Street. The last 3/4 hour of my walk was by streetlight and torchlight!- But I knew where I was going for some of the plants at the end of the walk.

I recorded 42 plants 

Last year-Jan 2020 I recorded 34. I also did a walk with Doris at Ingleton last year.

In Jan 2019 we found 29

In 2018 we found 22

In 2017 we found 24

In 2015  we found 19

The increase in species is not due to global warming.
It is rather that for the first four years or so I stuck to the same path.
Then competition fever struck. I ticked off the regular haunts and species quickly and then explored new places.

This last year having carried out my Settle Wildflower Lockdown Walks I had visited many extra places, especially in the few weeks preceding Christmas 

But does my longer score make me happier? 


I just start thinking "Why did I miss Procumbent Pearlwort (perhaps because it was dark..)"

"What a shame the beautiful blue Borage I had seen ten days earlier is now a black mass of goo aftter the three frosty days we had,  and no longer countable!" 

"Pity that the Red Valerian and Sticky Groundsel and Common Mouse-ear that I regularly score are no longer to be seen this year."

(Other plants I have counted in previous years include Ladies Mantle, French Crane's-bill, Soft Brome.)..

 So had these all survived in the right places that score could come to 50!
But they didn't.

A viewing of the NYPH results show that virtually all the hunts with the longest  lists in the top 25 come from the south of England or the midlands/Wales and further south. the one laudable exception being the Silverlink list from Tynemouth - 63 -

For comparison I went on a walk in the countryside at Windskill Stones Nature Reserve and found no plants in flower (As did a friend who leves near Selside)

Back to Settle Wildflowers 

Here are some pictures of some of my finds.

Several of my new plants came from a visit to the flagpole on Castleberg

(You can compare them with pictures I took in June 2018)

Leafy Hawkweed: - Hieracium sp

Wall Lettuce - on Castleberg-with splendid view of Settle

 Yellow Oat-grass  Trisetum flavescens
 on Castleberg

Wood Aven - on Castleberg

Wall-flower - besisde grade 6 and 7 climbing routes on Castleberg

Nipplewort - somewhere near Settle Coal Yard

Goat Willow - in Ashfield Car Park

Dame's Violet - Cammock Lane-Station Road Allotments

This was the Borage- but I did not count it.

Daisy - we are next to ARLA now on the Industrial Estate

A brief foray over Queens Rock Bridge into Giggleswick to tick of Hazel

Rat's-tail Fescue - Vulpia myuros

Pineapple-weed Matricaria discoidea

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