February 2018

For our first presentation of 2018 it was a pleasure to welcome Sue Buckingham.

Sue is a field botanist and the joint recorder for the Kent Botanical Recording Group, a voluntary position that involves walking footpaths, lanes, woods and towns and noting all of the plants seen growing wild.

Sue took us on a whirlwind tour of the woods, salt marshes, coast, chalk uplands and rivers of Kent opening our eyes to the amazing diversity of our counties flora and countryside.

Amazingly 12% of Kent is woodland and Sue’s pictures, she is an expert photographer, provided some interesting finds, Blean Woods Bluebells and Lily of the Valley,  Ham Street Woods Wood Anemones, Wood Sorrel, Violets, various orchids, cuckoo pint and Solomon’s Seal.

Bonsai Bank home to an array of orchids, Birds nest, Fly and Lady orchids, together with Cowslips and Hairy Violets.

Kent has 180 miles of coast with shingle and sands areas at Dungeness and salt marshes at the Medway estuary, all with their special contributions, Wild Cabbage at Dover Cliffs, Sea Kale at Dungeness, and numerous grasses.

Kent’s main rivers the Medway and Stour have their unique plants, try exploring Kent’s shortest river the Dour at Dover and the Military Canal where you may be able to spot Himalayan Balsam, Lady’s Smock, Loosetrife, Arrowhead and Frogbit.

The Weald of Kent has entirely different soils providing fertile opportunities for the likes of Poppies, Corncockle, Marsh Mallow, Pheasant’s Eye and Green Winged orchids and on the transition from the Weald to the Downs the Greensand ridges with more acid soils are home to Rhododendrons, cotton grasses, heath bedstraw and western gorse amongst many others.

Sue would have entertained us for much longer had time allowed and all this without notes aided only with a powerpoint presentation.  Sue’s knowledge of the plants of Kent and the wonderful areas to see them is truly encyclopedic.

For the first meeting of the year there was a goodly audience and we hope to see all of you and many more at our next presentation on Tuesday 13th March when Malcolm Withnall will be providing Guidance on Pruning of Garden Fruit Trees and Shrubs.

We look forward to seeing you at 7.00 for 7.30 p.m. on Tuesday 13th March at Waltham Village Hall for the next presentation.