Visit to Botany Bay

Seven of us got together to record plants in the chalk meadow on the top of the cliffs at Botany Bay, Kingsgate, Thanet. We created a long list of species but of particular interest were the pyramidal orchid, yellow rattle, broomrape, knapweeds (attracting bees and butterflies), areas of ladies bedstraw and kidney vetch. After lunch we went to the sand dunes below the cliffs that have formed there over the past 80 years. We deliberated over sand and sea couch grass  (mostly the former) and saw swathes of sea purge, sea holly, sea sandwort, sea spurge and clumps of marram grass. A variety of halophytes, ruderals, garden escapes etc. had colonised the slack behind the dunes adjacent to the cliffs. The day finished with a visit to the seashore where we recorded extensive 'meadows' of the non native wireweed (Sargassum muticum) and a swarm of the starfish Asterias rubens.