Thursday, 16 October 2014

The Welsh AGM 2014

Poor blog – sadly neglected with so much going on all summer – and who would want to be sitting at the laptop with the glorious weather we have had this year.

In mid-June we had the Welsh AGM in the wonderful setting of the Wye valley based on Tintern, where Elsa, was this year’s co-organiser lives and runs a guest house and magical garden with her husband Adrian.  We had the usual mix of field trips and exhibits and a spirited talk by Tim Rich entitled “Why Wye Whitebeams”.  The conclusion seemed to be that the wayward behaviour of these lovely trees and the consequent multiplicity of species goes beyond where many taxonomists are prepared to go!

The comfort of The Nurtons B&B
A view of Adrian and Elsa's wonderful garden

On our first foray we climbed high up above the village with superb views along the Wye valley 
The next day we chose to visit the Newport Wetlands, where one of the interests for me was seeing Dittander, Lepidium latifolium, a plant of brackish places formerly used as a hot and spicy relish before Horseradish was introduced.
It was a baking hot day and at lunchtime a bevy of botanists - including a young Rich and a much younger Spencer-Vellacott -  were  glad to find a little shade for a picnic.
The meeting was wound up by a visit to a series of hay meadows managed by the Monmouthshire Meadows Group, wonderful restored meadows - a fitting end to a varied and interesting AGM. Many thanks to the organisers Elsa Wood and Steph Tyler.