Led by Eric Greenwood, author of the Flora of North Lancashire, and with VC recorder for Lancashire David Earl as well as the VC Recorder for Merioneth Sarah Stille those of us new to botany learned a lot from all that experience and expertise. Within minutes came our first sighting of Spiny Restharrow Onionis spinosa which is rare in North Lancashire though reasonably well represented along the Ribble shoreline.
Of the four species we had hoped to check we did not find two. Helminthotheca (Picris) echioides (Bristly Oxtongue) was recorded on the clay banks from 1888 until 1977. Genista tinctoria (Dyer's Greenweed) was recorded from 1858 until 2003 when Eric Greenwood recorded 6 plants on 11 June. Since1964 30 tetrads records were noted in the Flora but I fear it may have become extinct in the last 10 years- unless someone can find it. The reasons for the sharp decline of this species are not known.
A very colourful Common Mallow Malva sylvestris was found amongs the roots of the hedgerow and those birders amongst us also enjoyed sightings of Cormorant, Redshank, Lapwing, Shelduck and a Barn Owl when we raised our eyes from our botanist's stoop.
As a newcomer to the finer points of plant identification I am most grateful to those who were prepared to share their knowledge and tolerant of the many questions that their answers often provoked. Following the walk I added 40 records to my MapMate records for this, to me, new site.