The Natural History of Uckfield by Wendy Tagg

On New Year’s day, it was time for another Botanical Society of the British and Ireland New Year Plant Hunt.

Last year I found 45 wild and naturalised plants in flower including spring flowers such as Hawthorn and summer flowers like Ox-eye daisies.

Winter Heliotrope

One of this year’s big surprises was Winter Heliotrope. These are large fluffy pink flowers spread along the London Road just south of the Ringles Cross pub. I have no idea how I managed to miss these conspicuous flowers in the years that I have lived here.


This year’s wet and dull autumn appears to have returned the flowers to their proper season. I didn’t see summer or spring flowers but I found plenty of opportunistic weeds such as daisies, dandelions and chickweed. The latter was growing in the middle of plastic grass!


They say when gorse is out of bloom, kissing’s out of fashion – well Uckfield’s smooches are safe for now, there was a gorse bush out on the Bellbrook business park.  In the end, I found a total of 36 species in flower – not as much as last year but still a good number.

Article and images with thanks to Wendy Tagg