Wardens Amy and Sally spent a morning over the border in Hampshire recently to learn all about marsh clubmoss (Lycopodiella inundata) and field gentian (Gentianella campestris). Dom and Fran from The Species Recovery Trust showed them around a site in the New Forest renowned for both these heathland species, which are very rare in the UK.
The group found lots of marsh clubmoss plants in the survey patch but unfortunately field gentian suffer badly in heatwaves and have not flowered this year.
Marsh clubmoss is very particular about the conditions it grows in, favouring wet, periodically disturbed soil and only occurs on around 70 sites in England. Field gentian on the other hand prefers unimproved, acidic heath or grassland and is only found on 10 sites in England.
The changing climate is a big problem for both these plants, but the wardens will be keeping an eye out for both species and will report their findings back to The Species Recovery Trust to help inform their research.