Surveys of wild vascular plant species occurring on walls in 12 small towns and on 20 sections of rural wall in Easter Ross (vc106) were undertaken during the summer of 2020. The results are given, compared and followed by a brief discussion.

  • 12 small towns in Easter Ross (VC106) were visited on 2 occasions in the summer of 2020 noting all wild plant species growing on walls in the older parts of the towns, following a standard route. The walls were mainly mortared.
  • 182 records were made of 78 different plant species, the commonest being Taraxacum (Dandelion), Festuca rubra agg. (Red Fescue) and Dryopteris filix-mas agg. (Male Fern).
  • A similar study of the same towns in 2011 recorded 64 different species and there was no detected loss of biodiversity over the period of study.
  • 20 sections of rural wall were also visited in the summer of 2020 and all vascular plans were recorded. Most of the walls were not mortared and they were mainly in the same 10km square as the urban sites.
  • 88 different taxa were recorded on rural walls. The commonest rural plants were Festuca species, Taraxacum and Chamerion angustifolium (Rosebay Willowherb), although Polypodium vulgare (Polypody) was present in great quantity on some of the walls, pictured.
  • Only 44 (50%) of the rural species were the same as on the urban walls and the proportion of neophytes was much lower (4 as opposed to the urban total of 17).
  • There should be caution in interpreting these results as the rural samples were not random but based on accessibility.
  • Urban and rural walls are important and contrasting habitats.

The full report will be published in BSS News. Meantime, further details are available from me.