Archive for the 'Plants' Category

28th June 2012, Thursday

Life moves on!

Back in 2008 I wrote about the broom cycle at Dungeness click here.  The last two photos in this post show a broom Cytisus scoparius I got to know well in the 1990s.  It was growing on previously disturbed shingle and was heavily grazed by rabbits, forming a low broom turf.  Then an outbreak of myxomatosis allowed the bush to reach for the skies (the second last photograph in the above post shows this just as time was starting to catch up with this plant and it died).  The final photo shows a number of  seedlings colonising around the remains of the bush, benefitting from the humus it had added to the bare shingle.

Move forward four years and those seedlings have formed several large wood sage Teucrium scorodonia plants.


The wood sage plants are growing with

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22nd June 2012, Friday

Invasive plant tracker

Click here for a link to the new Environment Agency PlantTracker app which helps to track problem plants. Its only for 3 plants at the moment, including Himalayan balsam and Japanese knotweed but looks like it’s well worth downloading. From Fran Southgate.

19th June 2012, Tuesday


Today there were masses of blue viper’s bugloss flowers and blue sky.

15th June 2012, Friday

Sea pea monitoring

This nationally scarce shingle specialist has declined dramatically during the last 10 years in the RX area. It used to be common along the Pett and Rye Harbour shore with a few plants at Camber and Dungeness. At Rye Harbour it has declined due to at least two pressures – human feet and rabbits – it is now only common on the seaward side of the tarmac road between the river mouth and the Mary Stanford lifeboat house. It was much more widespread, so I am mapping it this year and would like to know from anyone who finds it outside of the reserve – email me at with location and area covered by the plant.

12th June 2012, Tuesday

English Star

No, not a footballer, but a small flowering plant that can be found on the dry crest of many of the old shingle ridges south of Camber Castle. English Stonecrop is a delightful plant, once you get down on your hands and knees.
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29th May 2012, Tuesday

Sea Pea and Sea Kale flowering

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23rd May 2012, Wednesday

White flowers

There are lots of white flowers out at the moment – hawthorn, field mouse-ear, cow parsley… but which are these?
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17th May 2012, Thursday

Red Ridges

The old shingle ridges around Camber Castle have turned crimson as the flowers of sheep sorrel have come into bloom. Like many other plants it seems to have enjoyed the cool wet spring. Find out more about the plant by clicking here and for a close up… Read the rest of this entry »

16th May 2012, Wednesday


In the RX area there are many members of the carrot or umbellifer family, from the tiny marsh pennywort to the 2 metre tall hemlock. Now is the time that they are growing rapidly. Hemlock is widespread along the coast and is one of the poisonous species -famously used to kill Socrates – find out more by clicking here. The leaves of hemlock are similar to those of carrot (which also grows along the coast), but hemlock has distinctive purple blotched stems as in the photo.

14th May 2012, Monday

Poor Fen

Not a term of commiseration, or criticism, but the name for one of the scarcest habitats in the RX region.
Poor fen habitat
The poor fen communities in the Cladium Pit at Dungeness RSPB reserve are bursting into life at the moment Read the rest of this entry »