FERNS I N SUFFOLK
Bibliography. Clapham, A. R., Tutin, T. G. and Warburg, E. F. (1952). Flora of the British Isles. London. Hind, W. M. (1889). The Flora of Suffolk. London. Hyde, H. A. and Wade, A. E. (1954). Welsh Ferns. Cardiff. Step, E. (1949). Wayside and Woodland Ferns. London. Turrill, W. B. (1948). British Plant Life. London.
SANDCOVERT MARSHES, BLYTHBURGH, ii Since an account of these marshes appeared in Vol. ix, Pt. 1, 1954, there has been a further setback in the progress towards reclamation, for the high tides of 22nd December, 1954 again breached the wall and the marsh was flooded with sea water which remained for a fortnight. The result on the growth of flora has, however, been interesting. In the summer of 1954, the ground cover was sparse with large expanses of bare soil and a limitation in plant species. Soil conditions are now rather unusual. Up to September, 1955 no attempts had been made at drainage, other than the excavating of a new delph ditch inside the river wall. The old ditches are almost fĂźll of silt, but allow for about 1' of spring water which finds its way from Spring Hill on the north side of the main road. Along the length of these filled ditches, a great variety of flora has established itself in a condition of slowly moving fresh water in a moist soil of high salinity. Away from the ditches, the surface soil has deeply cracked into a mosaic pattem, whilst the sodium chloride in the soil was very high. In August, when final observations were made, the upper 3" of soil was dry and the salt content of the first 6" of soil was 2.25%, whilst at the same time in 1954 it was 1.62%. The net volume of salt in August, 1955, in 6" of soil was 18 tons per acre which by comparison with a salt application for sugar beet is seventy-two times the maximum amount applied per acre. The main cover of the marsh is made up of Suaeda maritima and Salicornia stricta, whilst Aster tripolium is evident all over the marsh. The growth habit of Aster tripolium is interesting, for there is great Variation in its height and the number of the flowering stems ; in height it ranges from 6" - 5', whilst some single plants have 45 - 50 flowering stems. On August 4th there
SANDCOVERT MARSHES, BLYTHBURGH
were comparatively few plants in flower and those that were comprised both very small and very large plants. Local soil conditions were observed and there appeared to be no obvious explanation. On tide washed saltings there is no great rĂ¤nge of height in this species and multiple flowering stems as were seen at Blythburgh are not found. Atriplex littoralis and the variety dentata are now common whereas this plant was only found on the bank in 1954. There is one thick colony about thirty yards Square in association with Suaeda and Salicornia, but almost free of Aster tripolium. Atriplex patula are few and very small plants by comparison with the plants of 4 ' - 5' in diameter which spread over the ground in 1954. Phragmites communis has spread in the area of ditches and furrows, particularly on the north side which is kept wet by the hill springs. Ranunculus sceleratus are again to be found by the ditches and in most cases in a position where the soil is kept moist by fresh water, nevertheless this plant is not usually associated with conditions of high salinity. Of the new entrants, a few plants in close proximity, of Epilobium hirsutum were found on dry soil away from the ditches. Two plants of Corex otrubae were by a ditch : one 4' 6" in spread and with leaves and flower stalks of a bright olive yellow. A few plants of Triglochin palustris and two of Typha latifolia in the ditch bed, whilst Schoenoplectus lacustris had colonized in several places along the ditches. Of the smaller rushes, there are a few plants of Juncus acutiflorus and one plant of Eleocharis palustris was found on the edge of a ditch almost covered by neighbouring plants. The Spartina has made no headway in spreading, as might be expected in the absence of tidal flow. Beta vulgaris ssp. maritima has not appeared on the marsh, although it is found on the river wall.
MARSH FLORA AT 4TH AUGUST, 1955 Agropyron pungens (Pers.) Roem. and Schult Puccinellia maritima (Huds.) Pari. Limonium vulgare Mill. Suaeda maritima (L.) Dum. Salicornia stricta Dum. Salicornia prostrata Pall. Aster tripolium L. Halimione portulacoides (L.) Aell. Spergularia salina J. and C. Presl
Sea couch-grass Sea poa Sea lavender Herbaceous seablite Samphire Sea aster Sea purslane Sea spurry
Spergularia marginata (DC.) Kittel Spartina townsendii H . and J. Graves Atriplex patula L. Atriplex hastata L. Atriplex littoralis and â€˘vor. dentata L. Phragmites communis Trin. Juncus gerardi Lois. Juncus acutiflorus Hoffm. Eleocharis palustris (L.) Roem. and Schult Scirpus maritimus L. Schoenoplectus lacustris (L.) Palla Plantago major L. Plantago maritima L. Glaux maritima L. Triglochin palustris L. Ranunculus sceleratus L. Typha latifolia L. Carex otrubae Podp. Rumex crispus L. Epilobium hirsutum L.
Cord-grass Common orache Hastate orache Shore orache Common reed M u d rush Sharp-flowered rush Common spiked rush Sea club-rush Bulrush Great plantain Sea plantain Sea milkwort Marsh arrow-grass Celery-leaved crowfoot Great reedmace False fox-sedge Curled dock Great hairy willow-herb P. J. O .
NOTES FROM THE NEW FOREST W h e n I paid a visit to Suffolk in August, 1955, I was pleased to see how well the coastal strip had recovered from the severe floods of two years ago. My visit did not produce any insects worth recording. T h i s might have been different if a very enjoyable excursion to Devil's Dyke and Chippenham Fen had not coincided with a wet day. Perhaps a few notes from my own area on the fringe of the New Forest may be of interest. T h e year started with floods along the River Avon which covered the marshes in its vicinity for three weeks, wiping out many hibernating larvae of the Scarlet Tiger (P. dominula, Linn.). At three different spots along the banks, where, last year, larvae abounded in spring, I could not find a single one this year, although they were present at a few spots above flood level. After the long winter with cold weather extending into May, spring insects, especially butterflies, were not much in evidence, with a marked scarcity of hibernated Vanessids. Hibernating larvae of the White