Weston Shore – Recent Discoveries

from ecologist Philip Budd

Since the completion of my much-acclaimed Wildlife Survey of Weston Shore 2015 Report (published December 2015) there have been a few new discoveries on the shore. Two new plants were added to the list for the shore on 17th June 2016, these were Marsh Woundwort Stachys palustris and Annual Beard-grass Polypogon monspeliensis, both at the eastern end of the shore. The Annual Beard-grass often occurs as a casual by walls and on bare ground in urban areas, but it is also a scarce coastal grassland and dry saltmarsh native and listed in the Hampshire Rare Plant Register (Rand & Mundell, 2011). It was found in this latter habitat at Weston Shore. Another species in the Rare Plant Register, Slender Hare’s-ear, continues to thrive at its site near the children’s playground on the shore. Another important discovery was of 30 spikes of Bee Orchid Ophrys apifera, reported to me in June 2016. I have not described the location as it would be disastrous if these flowers were ever to be picked because orchids invest a lot more energy in flower production than other plants do. There is also a single Bee Orchid coming up along Jurd’s Lake Way.

A new leaf beetle to the shore, Chrysolina banksii (nothing to do with the famous street artist of similar name) was discovered at the eastern end of the shore in August 2016 and a Stonechat was a welcome sighting in scrub in the rolling mills area in January 2017. Also at the western end of the shore on the low, crumbling cliffs near the sailing club a colony of many thousands of Yellow-legged Mining Bee Andrena flavipes was discovered in April 2017 along with much smaller numbers of their parasite homeless bee Nomada fucata. This colony is extensive and continues, intermittently, all the way NW along the coast to the Centenary Quay area at Woolston. Other Andrena bee species could also be present in the same but these are often difficult species to identify. These bees have stings but they are too week to penetrate human skin.

Philip Budd.


Nomada fucata – left;  Andrena flavipes– right

Both reproduced with kind permission of Gary Palmer, New Milton.



Big Beach Clean Up on Weston Shore – Saturday 8th August 2015 10am to 1pm

We’re getting really excited about our Big Beach Clean Up on Weston Shore on Saturday 8th August 2015.  Our litter pick will be starting at 10am on the day and finishing up around 1pm and will be starting near the Pitch and Putt Course on Weston Shore, Southampton, SO19 9DX.

Big Beach Clean Up! Saturday 8th August 2015

Big Beach Clean Up! Saturday 8th August 2015

Please also have a look at our vlog about some of the wonderful plants and animals living on Weston Shore :

More on the wildlife of Weston Shore…

During our recent litter pick on Weston Shore, Mary and Ian from the Friends group found a beautiful shell, shown below.

Variegated Scallop (Chlamys varia)

Variegated Scallop (Chlamys varia)

This is a Variegated Scallop (Chlamys varia). The asymmetrical ‘ears’ on the shell are typical of this type. They can go grow up to 8cm in length and are found all over the UK in a wide range of depths from lower intertidal to as deep as 100m. Although they are a common species they favour rocky or gravelly areas.

The Friends of Weston Shore are keen to learn more about the wildlife to be found on our beautiful beach and we’re grateful to Ian and Mary for sharing this find with us.  If you would like to join us on our journey to increase our knowledge about the natural riches of the area please get in touch!

Mary and Ian from Friends of Weston Shore

Mary and Ian from Friends of Weston Shore