New Year Plant Hunt.
2 January 2019, Old Mineral Line, Dinnington to Thurcroft.
Meet 10am on Bookers Way off Todwick Road (B6463), Dinnington.
Les Coe (leader)
The Old Mineral Line was once a working railway line serving Thurcroft Colliery but is now disused and has become a public footpath starting in Dinnington and passing through Laughton Common on its way to the old Thurcroft Colliery site.
The group walked along the footpath from Dinnington to the Thurcroft Colliery site, then returned via public footpaths across fields before re-joining the Old Mineral Line at Laughton Common and continuing to the starting point at Dinnington. The route passed through two tetrads SK58D & SK58E
Along the way were able to recorded a total of 138 plant species, some having just dried stems, leaves, buds, seeds or fruits. However, just 25 plants were in flower. The prominent plants along the walk were Dove's-foot Cranesbill (Geranium molle) and Pendulous Sedge (Carex pendula).
The flowering plants consisted of -
Groundsel (Senecio vulgaris), flowers Jan - Dec
Daisy (Bellis perennis), flowers Jan - Dec
Annual Meadow Grass (Poa annua), flowers Jan - Dec
Hairy Bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta), flowers Feb - Nov
Shepherd’s Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris), flowers Jan - Dec
Sun Spurge (Euphorbia helioscopia), flowers Apr - Nov
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), flowers Jun - Dec
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale agg.), flowers Jan - Dec
White Dead Nettle (Lamium album), flowers Mar to Nov
Chickweed (Stellaria media), flowers Jan - Dec
Red Dead Nettle (Lamium purpureum), flowers Jan - Dec
Common Field Speedwell (Veronica persica), flowers Jan - Dec
Greater Periwinkle (Vinca major), flowers Jan – Jun.
Angelica (Angelica sylvestris), flowers Jun - Sep
Red Campion (Silene dioica), flowers Mar - Nov
Dove's-foot Cranesbill (Geranium molle), flowers Apr - Sep
Gorse (Ulex europaeus), flowers Jan - Dec
Hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium), flowers May - Nov
Himalayan Honeysuckle (Leycesteria formosa), flowers Jun - Sep
Bramble (Rubus fruticosus agg.), flowers May - Nov
Nipplewort (Lapsana communis), flowers Jun - Oct
Scentless Mayweed (Tripleurospermum inodorum), flowers Apr - Nov
Cleavers (Galium aparine), flowers May - Sep
Cut-leaved Cranesbill (Geranium dissectum), flowers May – Sep
Hazel (Corylus avellana), had well-developed male catkins and female flowers
Amongst the non-flowering plants observed were
Several leaves of Orchids, possibly Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera) in the roadside verge in front of Safety Kleen offices, destined never to be able to produce any flowers due to the regular mowing of the verges.
Sowbread (Cyclamen hederifolium), a fine-looking well-established plant, a garden escapee.
Dyers Green Weed (Genista tinctorial), a relic from earlier days when it was grown commercially
A possible Western Gorse ( Ulex gallii) which could not be confirmed as it was not in flower.
Italian Lords-and-Ladies (Arum italicum), with striking foliage in the undergrowth.
Perforate St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) and Hairy St John’s Wort (Hypericum hirsutum).
A Common Dog Violet (Viola riviniana) making an early appearance.
Seed heads of Astrantia (Astrantia major) remained on the plant.
Golden-scaled Male-Fern (Dryopteris affinis agg.) growing on the bankside.
Broad-leaved Everlasting-pea (Lathyrus latifolius) at path side.
Spiked Sedge (Carex spicata) having seeds
Crosswort (Cruciata laevipes).
Water plants observed in the path-side ditches were Fools Water Cress (Apium nodiflorum), Water Cress (Nasturtium officinale) and Water-starwort (Callitriche sp.)
Also noted were tracks of deer in the soft mud, and a Mottled Umber Moth (Erannis defoliaria), at rest on vegetation.
In the scrub behind Safety Kleen works we heard the call of the Willow Tit.