Gulleys Wood Meadow Botanical Survey

Sunday 10 July 2022

On Sunday 10 July, Diana Holland (Chair of BEG) and myself completed a botanical survey of Gulley’s Meadow. Armed with a clip board with pen and paper and a flora to identify the species of plants we would come across, we set out along the left side of the meadow running parallel to the woods. It soon became apparent that many if not all species of plant had been affected by a relative lack of precipitation – visible signs such as shrivelled leaves and discoloration of the grasses. It was clear that the drought had particularly affected the central un-shaded area of the meadow, so we decided to start our survey on the edge of the meadow where we hoped that the shadier conditions would have offered some protection for at least some of the species of plants we were hoping to find.

As we commenced our survey, we encountered a large quantity of blackberry bushes which we decided were dominant. Next, we observed raspberry plants hiding within tall grasses as well as rosebay willow herb. Towards the Gulley’s Wood end of the meadow bracken was very visible and had spread and become denser since the previous survey (in 2017).

When walking back towards Beauchief Drive on the opposite side running parallel to the golf course we observed that blackthorn has spread dramatically now 10 feet from the hedge. Again, we saw rosebay willowherb and we considered this to be locally dominant. When we came near the unmaintained area near the drive, we saw bird’s foot trefoil and lots of thistles.

The table below details all the species identified in the survey using the D A F O R Abundance scale. D – Dominant, A – Abundant, F – Frequent, O – Occasional, R – Rare, L – locally.


Cocksfoot (A)

Common Bent (F/LD)

Meadow Foxtail (O)

Perennial Rye Grass (LA)

Sweet Vernal Grass (LA)

Yorkshire Fog (O)

Trees and Shrubs

Oak seedlings (O, 2 patches)

Herbaceous Species

Birdsfoot Trefoil (LA)

Black Knapweed (R)

Blackberry (LD)

Bluebell (F/LA)

Broad Leaved Dock (O/LF

Common Ragwort (R)

Cow Parsley (LF)

Meadow Buttercup (F) widespread

Nettle, stinging (LF)

Oxeye Daisy (R)

Raspberry (LA)

Red Clover (F/LA)

Ribbed Plantain (O)

Rosebay Willowherb (LD)

Yellow Rattle (D) widespread

Bracken (LD)

White Clover (F)

Hogweed (LF)

Common Cat’s ear (LF)

Spear Thistle (LF)

Wild Carrot (R 1 plant)

Observations: The survey was undertaken too late in the year to assess the abundance of Pignut, Lesser Stitchwort and other species recorded in the meadow in past surveys. Field Woodrush was not found on this occasion but it may still be present. The very dry conditions may have hampered the growth of a number of species, particularly grasses resulting in a very low sward.

Zach Watson