Flora News

WOW has been very privileged recently to have received a very comprehensive list of plants recorded on Widewater Lagoon.

Sue Denness is a member of the Sussex Botanical Recording Society (SBRS) and produced her 2017 Widewater Lagoon Plant Survey. This contained over 100 species complete with their common and Latin names.

In addition to a new website, we have also set up a new page on Facebook. Search for Lancing Widewater – World of Widewater (WOW) on Facebook and send a request to join our Facebook group.

I had the good fortune of accompanying Sue for a time in July 2017 on a visit with a small group of SBRS members and was intrigued how they discovered the tiniest plants that were quickly identified, as well of course the larger flowers, bushes, trees and grasses which we see every day but pass by not knowing their names.

Sue is leading another visit by SBRS on Wednesday 18th July 2018, meeting at 10.45am by the Information Booth, and going on until about 4pm. Members of the public – and particularly WOW members – who might be interested botanically, would be welcome to observe the procedures during any part of the day.

On another subject – some of you may have noticed, in the recent months, quantities of black substances washed up on the beach. This is Lignite – pieces that have broken away from ancient forest exposed on the sea bed a few hundred metres offshore after storms. Much of the material appears to be fossilised Palm trees and rushes.

If allowed to dry the Lignite crumbles into a fine powder and plant spores can be found. Apparently use of Lignite for burning (instead of coal) was banned in the 19th century as it is full of sulphur and gives off heavy fumes. Lignite is at approximately stage two of six stages in the formation of coal, laid down about 50 million years ago.

And yet another subject – I am very much looking forward to meeting you all on our Coastal Flower Identification Walk around the lagoon, on Sunday 17th June, 10am meeting by the Booth.

Spread the word – all are welcome.

Marion Wood

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