Trying to gear myself up for a busy season of fieldwork, I went a little further afield today to carry out some botanical survey at Morkery Wood in Lincolnshire. On the way there I realised I'd only been on the A1 once since October, and had to remind myself how the car's cruise control worked!
When I arrived at the wood I was surprised to find a light covering of snow in the shadier areas, though this soon melted in the warm spring sunshine. My aim was to try and re-find several species which are listed on the draft Rare Plant Register I've produced for my vice-county. I succeeded in spotting Rustyback Fern on a nearby railway bridge, but didn't find the Herb-paris or Lily-of-the-valley, both of which haven't been seen for over twenty years. This wasn't really surprising - it's a very large wood and the location details were of dubious accuracy.
However, I was able to confirm new locations for a couple of other species, including Wood Vetch and Moschatel, also known as Town-hall-clock, because of the peculiar five-faced flowers. This tiny plant is only visible for a few months in spring, and tends to favour damp, loamy woods. It's long been known from the north-east corner of the site, but today I discovered that the discontinuous population extended all the way along the northern margin of the wood, making it almost certainly the largest population in South Lincolnshire.