Verge Survey Group

Verge Survey Group

The Verge Survey Group has a long history and has been instrumental in many sites being designated as Verge Nature Reserves.

Anacamptis morio, Green-winged Orchid, Bernwood Meadows. Photo by Frances Watkins

Attending a verge survey group meeting is an excellent way of honing your plant identification skills. Recently the work has concentrated on sites where target species for the Oxfordshire Rare Plants Register have been seen in the past and also on areas under threat from proposed road developments. Meetings take place throughout the summer. They begin at 6 p.m. Days of the week are usually varied to take account of people’s other commitments. Torrential rain means that the survey will be cancelled. Please ring 01865 761110 to let the leader know if you are going to attend, or if you have any queries. There is an answerphone. Remember that otherwise there may be no way of getting in touch with you if arrangements change.

Butterfly orchid. Photo by Christopher Hoskin

Health and Safety

The main risk on any verge survey bordering or starting from a road is from the traffic. Incidental minor hazards are from uneven ground and encounters with plant defences such as stings and thorns. Neither the Society nor the leader can answer for the safety of participants, who attend at their own risk. The leader will be wearing a high visibility tabard and those attending who have appropriate high-visibility items are enjoined to bring them along and wear them.

Meetings in 2019

The theme for this year’s meetings is verges adjacent to arable farming, in response to suggestions in an article in Fritillary. It has been a very late spring, so although Covid has dictated a late start to the season the surveys will coincide roughly with the progress of flowering. However, as the progress of a return to normality is problematic, those wishing to attend are asked always to ring 01865 761110 beforehand.

The meeting-place details are Ordnance Survey map references; sat. navs. that use only postcodes are not always much use out in the country.

On the day, look for a lime-green Kia Picanto with a BBOWT Warden sticker in the window. Ring 07835 989153 if you have any problems on the evening.

The surveys are simple ones based on a presence/absence record, though we may take more details of rare plants. All are welcome, including beginners who just want to start practising plant identification skills.

  • Mon, Jun 14th 2021, 6:00 pm: Verge Survey: Abingdon Road

    Bottom of Abingdon Road down to Ring Road roundabout. This abuts pasture, not arable, but Abingdon Naturalist have asked us to keep an eye on verges in this area because of the Pyramidal Orchid populations. This one may be in danger from development plans. Parking is probably most convenient at the Redhill Park and Ride (small charge) at SP520 037.

  • Tue, Jun 22nd 2021, 6:00 pm: Verge Survey: Britwell Salome

    Britwell Salome, SU 681 922. Repeat of partial survey done last year, on request by local resident and county ecologist. The main species of interest, Orobanche elatior, should be visible if not flowering by then.

  • Mon, Jun 28th 2021, 6:00 pm: Verge Survey: Bladon Roundabout

    A44 just south of Woodstock road junction with A4095, SP 460 156. Limited parking in bus bays on both sides of road, but west side of road if possible.

How to attend

Meetings are listed on the ANHSO Meetings page.

If you would like to attend one of these meetings it is essential that you phone 01865 761110, using the answerphone if necessary, so that if plans change, you can be informed.

Bee orchid. Photo by Christopher Hoskin