I've been reviewing and collecting statistics while I sort out my records for the year. 33 people accompanied me on a botanical field survey at least once and 9 of them came along 3 or more times. If the support continues then recording the vascular plants of Brecon for the next atlas update should be secure (if still a challenge !). It's not just the company or even the extra botanical expertise - having more eyes in the team results in more species recorded I am sure.
We recorded 3300 individual records of about 600 different species in the period from march through to a few weeks ago. In addition records are still coming in from individual efforts - this is especially welcome.
Meanwhile I haven't entirely stopped botanising. These unusual ferns on the Hay Railway path needed to be properly identified:
This it turns out is a Shaggy Shield Fern, Dryopteris cycadina
Also known as Black Wood Fern and certainly escaped from a garden. It's well-established and holding its own against the general scrub. The species is native to northern India, China, Taiwan and Japan but grows well and is popular in British gardens. I am grateful to Dr Fred Rumsey for identifying this.
Fortune's cyrtomium, Cyrtomium fortunei var. fortunei
Also known as Japanese holly fern, this is more commonly found established in the wild and again is from the Far East. I had noticed both these ferns back in 2011 and thought this one might be this species but again Dr Fred Rumsey confirmed that it really was and added the "var".
I am a little more sure of my native ferns now and noticed a fine stand of Soft-shield fern nearby:
Soft Shield-fern, Polystichum setiferum
The same again underneath the fronds.
Ferns are just one of the groups I can continue to seek out during the winter...