Thursday, 18 July 2013

Whats that plant ?

Had a wonderful though very hot afternoon learning how to identify plants at Dalehead Chapel in the middle of Gisburn Forest. The event  was lead by Geoff  Morries and John Hickling . Their infectious enthusiasm and wealth of knowledge just made you want to know more.

We were first introduced to some of the tricks of the trade used to identify grasses. A group of plants I think most of us find difficult to tell apart but a group of plants well worth getting to know because they play such an important role in the food chain.

After the grasses we moved on to rushes and sedges again plants often not given the attention they deserve. A major theme of the day was to look at how particular groups of plants form communities or associations in response to environmental factors such as ph, moisture levels and nutrient status.

The graveyard around the Chapel is particularly rich in micro habitats with very different associations very close together.

We finished by looking at the flowering plants of which there is great diversity of particular interest were the two parasitic plants Yellow rattle and Louse wort which can survive in this location due to the low nutrient status across much of the area. Other flowering plants we looked at included Knapweed, Birds foot trefoil and two species of buttercup, the meadow found on the nutrient poor areas and the creeping indicative of the nutrient richer areas.

The infectious enthusiasm of the two experts really made learning fun and I don’t think any of us will feel quite so daunted about having a go at identifying grasses and sedges ourselves.

Geoff Morries

Louse Wort


No comments:

Post a Comment