Flora thornensis

It seemed unbelievable that there was no easily accessible list of plant species recorded on Thorne Moors SSSI.  This despite interest in the site over the centuries and visited by many eminent naturalists.  A colleague set the seed which germinated into a project and 2012, the third and final field season has seen many man hours expended over difficult and dangerous terrain.

Thorne Moors is a large site by today’s standards but a much reduced area of a far more extensive wetland landscape known to previous generations of naturalists.  Today around 4750 acres remains to be explored.  This survey makes no claims to be complete, what it has sought to do is to provide a baseline of flowering plant species in an readily available format (in due course).  It is hoped that this publication will encourage botanists and naturalists alike to visit the site and to provide data for future updates.

In 2010 236 plant species were recorded, in 2011 287 species were recorded of which 91 were additions to the previous list and in 2012, the third and final recording season, some 117 species were recorded, of which 9 were new to the survey, bringing the total so far to 370.

Ophrys apifera Thorne Moors June 2012

In addition to the flowereing plants, a local bryologist had an extensive list of mosses which was then added to by others keen to locate the sphagnum ‘gems’ of previous eras before drainage and peat extraction nearly totally destroyed the site.

Thank you to all those who took part, you know who you are, and we have the photographs!



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