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The Fern Survey
The British Pteridological Society is working with the Biological Records Unit of the Nature Conservancy to produce a new set of maps of the distribution of ferns, horsetails and allied plants. A realisation of this fact brought on a fit of panic last August when it was noted that the records for Caithness were not in very good shape. According to the maps, which were based on 1Okm squares on the Ordnance Survey grid there was no bracken seen at Wick or Halkirk and many more oddities and omissions. Recorder Jimmy Gunn set about organising an army of volunteers who went round the county popping bits of everything into plastic bags. The collections from Brawlbin, Dirlot, Warehouse and Achorn were particularly good and some interesting individual items were, a Giant Horsetail (Equisetum telmateia) at Forss and a Hartstongue Fern from Dounreay.