The Wychwood Flora Group

Meadow SaffronFor many years a small group of keen botanists and conservationists have been monitoring seven nationally rare wild flower species that occur at 20 sites in West Oxfordshire; the Purple Milk-vetch (Astragalus danicus), Yellow Star of Bethlehem (Gagea lutea), Red Hemp-nettle (Galeopsis angustifolia), Grape Hyacinth (Muscari neglectum), Meadow Clary (Salvia pratensis) Cotswold Pennycress (Thalaspi perfoliatum) and Downy Woundwort (Stachys germanica).

These plants grow in these locations as they are lime-loving and survive (but only just in some cases) due to the underlying limestone. The survey records have been fed into BBOWT, the local wildlife trust, Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre (TVERC), Plantlife International and the landowners.

The group has also helped with surveys for TVERC for the continuation of recording other rare plants that survive in West Oxfordshire, mainly in the Wychwood Forest area. These records have then been used to help create the Oxfordshire County Flora books and added to the large set of data held by TVERC.

These records are used to inform decisions on potential development and/or grants for landowners wishing to help protect these very rare plants and also for identifying where these plants occur when scientists wish to carry out research.

This recording group previously operated under the name of the Cotswolds Rare Plants Group (CRPG), covering the West Oxfordshire Cotswolds limestone area, and co-ordinates it activities with the Ashmolean Rare Plant Group in Oxford to give a greater cover.

The CRPG made the decision to come under the umbrella of the Wychwood Project. This group is now known as the Wychwood Flora Group.

The Wychwood Flora group has set out its objectives for the future and these are:

  • Continue with Rare Plant Recording and distribution of results.   
  • Help with management of rare plant habitats.
  • Encourage Wychwood Project members to join the surveys, even if they have little botanical knowledge, There will also be opportunities to visit areas where the public are not normally permitted.
  • With the increase in land now owned or managed by the Wychwood Project, the WFG can offer its expertise in carrying out surveys, recommend changes to management regimes and monitor the changes.
  • The group is also considering finding ways to help Oxfordshire County Council’s Highways Department in their management of existing roadside Nature Reserves verges which are in the Wychwood Project area.

One other benefit to members will be occasional ‘Nature Walks’. These will be a walk with interpretation of natural and local history content.

The walks, surveys and management tasks where volunteers can help will be advertised through the Wychwood Project.  For more information about these or any other aspect of the Flora group please email wychwoodfloragroup@gmail.com.

Foxburrow species list 23/5/18

A. dancicus report Westwell Gorse 2018

Salvia pratensis Langland Farm Finstock 2018

Salvia pratensis Grintley Hill 2018 

Salvia pratensis Abel Wood 2018

Salvia pratensis Saltway N 2018b

Stonesfield Common 2018

Flora Group Survey dates 2020

Date

Species and location


Weds 22 January


Westwell Gorse: work party

 

Strim area where Purple Milk-vetch and rake vegetation off. Obtain landowner permission


Jan/Feb, date to be confirmed


Grape Hyacinths at Chadlington: work party

 

Cut back hedge and vegetation and remove cut vegetation along length of footpath to improve habitat. Let Bakehouse know prior to cutting.

 

Liaise with farmer about clearing vegetation where Grape Hyacinths grow under walls on boundary of Manor and Gallipot Farms.

 

Clear vegetation where Grape Hyacinths grow under wall in Camp Field


Saturday 21 March 10.30 am


YELLOW STAR OF BETHLEHEM Gagea lutea

(pending permission, to be requested)

Whitehill Wood. Meet at cross roads near Ashford Mill (SP386155).

 

Contact Genny Early; 01993 891030;  wychwoodfloragroup@gmail.com


Sunday 19 April


Ducklington Snakeshead Fritillary Open Day

 

http://www.ducklingtonchurch.org.uk/fritillary/

 

 


April, date to be confirmed


Synge Woods survey


April, date to be confirmed


Meadow at North Leigh, RDA – to arrange with Kate Ally

 

 


Wednesday 22 April 10 am


GRAPE HYACINTH Muscari neglectum

 

Meet in Chadlington by the shop in Chipping Norton Road (SP327222).

 

Contact Genny Early; 01993 891030;  wychwoodfloragroup@gmail.com

 

Also Dean Pit Nature reserve (for Early Purple Orchids), after the Grape Hyacinth counts. Bring lunch, drinks if coming for the whole day.


Saturday 25 April


RVNR surveys: Chadlington (Rangers Lawn)


Tuesday 28 April


Evenlode Catchment Partnership: Flora Survey, site to be confirmed


Sunday 3 May 


Baseline  surveys of the community woodlands: site to be confirmed 


May, to be confirmed with owners


Ascott Mill: third meadow, held over from 2018

 

 


To be confirmed


Southill Solar Farm, Charlbury, to be confirmed with Anne Miller


Tuesday 19 May, 7 pm


Foxburrow Woods, complete survey from 2018

 

Contact Genny Early; 01993 891030;  wychwoodfloragroup@gmail.com


Saturday 23 May
 


NPMS survey: Westwell
Contact Brenda Betteridge; 01993 878615; bbetteridge@phonecoop.coop


Tuesday 26 May
 


NPMS survey: Fulbrook
Contact Brenda Betteridge; 01993 878615; bbetteridge@phonecoop.coop

 

 


Thursday 4 June 7 pm


Wychwood Way sections for nature walks – as WFG or with general public

 

 


Saturday 6 June 10 am


Wychwood Way sections for nature walks – as WFG or with general public


Saturday 13 June  10 am


MEADOW CLARY Salvia pratensis

 

Lower Farm, Taston. Meet on left-hand side of road to Taston where it leaves the Enstone–Charlbury road (B4022) (SP364213).

 

 


Monday 15 June 7 pm


PURPLE MILK-VETCH ASTRAGALUS DANICUS

 

Westwell Gorse  Nature Reserve on the B4425 (SP221114).

 

Contact Genny Early; 01993 891030;  wychwoodfloragroup@gmail.com

 

 


Tuesday 16 June 7 pm


MEADOW CLARY Salvia pratensis

 

Finstock, Langland Farm. Meet at the Plough Inn (SP362162). 

 

Contact Genny Early; 01993 891030;  wychwoodfloragroup@gmail.com

 

 


Friday 19 June 7 pm


MEADOW CLARY Salvia pratensis

 

Saltway (north end).

 

Contact Brenda Betteridge; 01993 878615; bbetteridge@phonecoop.coop

 

 


Saturday 20 June 9.30 am


MEADOW CLARY Salvia pratensis

 

Grintley Hill Bridge, near Combe. Meet south of Combe on track to Grintley Hill (SP411155). Afterwards Abel Wood and the Road Verge Nature Reserve (just north of Crawley on the Crawley–Charlbury road (SP341125)

 

Contact Genny Early; 01993 891030;  wychwoodfloragroup@gmail.com

 

 

 

 


Tuesday 23 June 7 pm


MEADOW CLARY Salvia pratensis

 

Stonesfield Common. Meet at gate to Common (SP389163).

 

Contact Gill Barrett: 01993 898788; g.barrett13@talktalk.net


Mid-June, permission to be requested, date to confirm


MEADOW CLARY Salvia pratensis
 

 

Holly Court Bank (SP386152)

 

Contact Genny Early; 01993 891030;  wychwoodfloragroup@gmail.com

 

 


Mid-June, date to be confirmed


MEADOW CLARY Salvia pratensis

 

Wigwell Nature Reserve, Charlbury. Meet by stile to reserve, Nine Acres Lane (SP356199). Contact Louise Spicer: 01608 810745; louise@laspicer.plus.com

 

 


Saturday 29 June 11 am


NATIONAL MEADOWS DAY: location to be confirmed. Social event and picnic

 

Contact Genny Early; 01993 891030;  wychwoodfloragroup@gmail.com

 

 

 

 


Tbc


DOWNY WOUNDWORT Stachys germanica

 

Saltway (south end). Meet where Saltway joins the Charlbury–Woodstock Road (SP387192). Please park well off the road but not blocking the track.


Tuesday 7 July


RVNR surveys: Bird in Hand (Crawley)

 

 


Saturday 11 July


Baseline  surveys of the community woodlands: site to be confirmed 

 

 


Tues 21 July


Evenlode Catchment Partnership: Flora Survey, site to be confirmed

 

 


Saturday 1 August 9.30 am


RED HEMPNETTLE Galeopsis angustifolia

 

Arable headland off the Saltway north end. Meet on the Spelsbury–Chipping Norton road (SP353236)

 

Contact Brenda Betteridge; 01993 878615; bbetteridge@phonecoop.coop


Other dates/sites to be confirmed


Red Hemp Nettle: possible other sites for monitoring. To follow up with Cath Spelswell.