18th September 2010, Saturday

Earlier in the summer I reported the discovery of a new population of the stinking hawk’s-beard at Dungeness, and that the species may not have gone extinct in the UK after all in the 1980’s.  The two thousand odd plants were growing on an area of grassland that is scarified each autumn.  They avoid undisturbed shingle on the adjacent Dungeness National Nature Reserve that lies a few metres away.

Today the plot was given it’s annual treatment, as was a piece of ground on the Dungeness NNR for the first time.

Scarifying a plot on the Dungeness NNR

The plot is to be left to see if the plant colonises the scarified ground naturally, taking advantage of the large area of bare ground.

Scarified ground

This plot was chosen because of it’s close proximity to the area hosting the plants, but also because it is a rather modified strip of vegetated shingle next to a road.  No damage was done therefore to valuable shingle vegetation.  It will be interesting to see if the plant takes advantage of this management in the next year or two.

Thanks to Robert and Dorothy.