The British Bryological Society held its first post-war Annual Meeting and Excursion at Appleby, Westmorland, from 10 to 17 April 1946. The President, Mr W. R. Sherrin, and Secretary, Mr A. Thompson, with some thirty-five members and friends were present. Dr L. B. C. Trotter and Miss J. White of Penrith served as Excursion Secretaries, and the meeting was also grateful for the assistance that had been given by Mrs Wright, Mr Evans of Appleby and Mr F. A. Sowter in making arrangements. Regret was expressed at the absence through illness of Mr Duncan and Miss Armitage from the Meeting.
The areas examined were mainly in the drainage basin of the River Eden (District 5 of Wilson’s Flora of Westmorland ), and comprised some of the Fells and associated becks of the Cross Fell Range of the Pennines. The main geological formations were Carboniferous sandstones, limestones and shales, but owing to the complex system of faults and effects of glaciation in this region many pre-Carboniferous formations were exposed and also intrusions of igneous rocks.
On the first day (11 April) the party worked up Hilton Beck as far as the lead and barytes mines at the foot of the final steep rise to the Fells. The strong wind down the valley was discouraging, and only a few climbed the slopes of Hilton or Roman Fell.
On 12 April the party left the bus some three miles beyond Brough on the Middleton-in-Teesdale road and worked back along the rocky bed and wooded slopes of Swindale Beck. After the return to Brough time was available for those who wished to visit the Castle off the Kirkby Stephen road, from the tower of which there was an excellent view of the Eden valley; the courtyard of the Castle was carpeted with Erophila verna Mey.
On 13 April the party walked from Town Head, a short way south from Dufton, along the fell slope north of High Cup Gill to the Nick, and later scattered, some across a swampy stretch of High Cup Plain to a section of Maize Beck cutting through limestone, some to the higher ground of Backstone Edge and others to work in more detail the slopes of High Cup Gill, especially around the striking belt of basaltic columns of the Whin Sill.
On Sunday, 14 April, no official excursion was arranged, but a small party went as far as Dufton and Knock Pikes and had some of the best collecting of the week.
On the 15th the party left the bus at Kirkland (Cumberland) and followed the track round the north side of High Cap, a few dropping down to examine rocks at the head of Ardale Beck. Cross Fell was climbed from the north side, but the flat area of Skiddaw Slate at the summit (2929 ft.) was not rich bryologicallv and the view was obscured by cloud. The best ground was amongst the rocks on the north slope of the summit. Returning round the Fell some of the party followed the track through Wythwaite and Ranbeck to Kirkland, whilst others dropped down from Tees Head to Crowdundle Beck, the Cumberland-Westmorland boundary.
On the last day the party went north by bus to Flakebridge Wood in the morning and saw Physcomitrium pyriforme and Nowellia curvifolia fruiting and in good condition. In the afternoon the bus returned through Appleby and continued south to Sunbiggin Tarn (District 3 of Wilson’s Flora ). Cinclidium stygium was present but not in good condition at this season. Birds of various kinds were nesting round the Tarn, and plants of Primula farinosa L. and Pinguicula vulgaris L. were plentiful. An excellent view of the Cross Fell Range was seen on the return journey.
The Annual Meeting was held on Friday, 12 April. The Secretary had on view the collection of photographs of past and present members of the Society, and this was of great interest and much appreciated. It was with great regret that the meeting heard of the resignation of Mr Duncan from the treasurership and from the recordership for true mosses, and a very sincere vote of thanks was passed for his long services to the Society in these capacities. The view was expressed that the Report should be enlarged and improved, and Mr F. A. Sowter undertook the Editorship; as the type of Report envisaged might prove a drain on the finances of the Society, voluntary contributions to a Printing Fund were invited. It was decided to hold the 1947 Annual Excursion in Angus during September to follow the British Association Meeting at Dundee. Miss Duncan and Mr Sinclair undertook to make arrangements.
Changes in the Officers of the Society were as follows: Vice-President : A. Thompson: Treasurer : J. H. G. Peterken; Distributor for Mosses (with C. P. Castell): E. C. Wallace; Bibliographer: E. V. Watson; Editor of the Report : F. A. Sowter; Referees: Acutifolia and Cymbifolia of Sphagna, A. Thompson; Indian Mosses, A. H. G. Alston; New Zealand Mosses, G. O. K. Sainsbury; European Mosses, British species of Bryum and Non-European Mosses, J. B. Duncan, P. W. Richards and W. Watson; Hepatics, P. W. Richards, E. W. Jones and W. Watson; Recorder for True Mosses, E. F. Warburg.
A feeling was expressed at the Meeting that some members would like to contribute observations on some aspect of the biology of the Bryophyta so as to widen the range of work within the Society, and Dr Richards was invited to convene an informal meeting on the Monday evening to discuss the possibility of organizing some such project. It was suggested that data of interest might be collected if members would make observations on the time of fruiting and, where possible, also on the time of maturation of antheridia and archegonia so that light might be thrown on the dates for reproductive stages and the variation due to differences in latitude, altitude, aspect and season. Certain common mosses and liverworts were selected for study, and it was decided to circularize members with the particulars required.
Polytrichum aloides var. Dicksonii Wallm., Dufton Gill: Schistostega osmundacea Mohr., Dufton Gill; Hypnum falcatum var. virescens Schp., Hilton Beck and High Cup Gill; Sphagnum fallax var. plumosum Warnst., Sunbiggin Tarn; Pellia fabroniana var. lorea Nees, High Cup Gill.
Dicranum Bonjeani var. rugifolium Bosw., nr. Ranbeck; Orthothecium intricatum var. abbreviatum Dixon, Tees Head; Thuidium Philiberti Limpr., Cross Fell, c. 2500 ft.; Hypnum fluitans var. falcatum Schp., Cross Fell.
The selected plants below are ones which are reported as rare or uncommon in Wilson’s Flora of Westmorland (1938), or which were not reported for certain Districts of V.C. 69 in that Flora ; such new records for Districts are indicated by (5) or (3) after the name.
SPHAGNA (in this case the new District Records are only indicated for the species). Sphagnum squarrosum var. spectabile Russ.; S. obesum var. plumosum Warnst. (5): S. auriculatum var. submersum Warnst. (5).
TRUE MOSSES. Tetraphis Browniana Grev.; Pleuridium alternifolium Rab. (5); Seligeria doniana C.M. (5); S. pusilla B. & S.; Brachyodus trichodes Fuernr.; Dicranella crispa Schp. (5) (not in Wilson’s Flora ): Dicranum schisti Lindb. (5); Fissidens pusillus Wils. (5) (type not recorded in Flora ); Grimmia funalis Schp. (5); Campylostelium saxicola B. & S (5); Tortula aloides De Not. (5); T. laevipila Schwaeg.; Barbula recurvifolia Schp.; B. spadicea Mitt. (5); Weisia tenuis C.M.: Trichostomum crispulum var. nigro-viride Braithw.; Encalypta rhabdocarpa Schwaeg.; Zygodon lapponicus B. & S. (5); Ulota crispa Brid.; Orthotrichum rupestre Schleich. (3); Physcomitrium pyriforme Brid. (5); Aulacomnium androgynum Schwaeg. (previous record questioned by Wilson); Webera proligera Bryhn. (5); Mnium serratum Schrad.; Cinclidium stygium Schwartz.; Heterocladium heteropterum var. fallax Milde; Pseudoleskea catenulata B. & S.; Thuidium delicatulum Mitt. (3); Eurhynchium Teesdalei Schp. (5); Plagiothecium depressum Dixon: Hypnum hispidulum var. Sommerfeltii Myr (5); H. giganteum Schp.; H. sarmentosum Wahl. (5).
Aneura palmata (Hedw.) Dum. (5), Fossombronia pusilla (L.) Dum. (5): Gymnomitrium obtusum ( Lindb.) Pears.; Marsupella emarginata (Ehrh.) Dum. (5); Aplozia riparia var. rivularis Bern. (5); Lophozia turbinata (Raddi) Steph. (5); L. Muelleri (Nees) Dum. (not recorded in Flora ); L. bantriensis (Hook.) Steph. (5): L. excisa (Dicks.) Dum. (5); L. incisa (Schrad.) Dum. (5) L. attenuata (Mart.) Dum.; L. barbata (Schmid.) Dum. (5); Nowellia curvifolia (Dicks.) Mitt. (5); Bazzania tricrenata (Wahl.) Pears. (5); Blepharostoma trichophyllum (L.) Dum. (5); Scapania nemorosa (L.). Dum. (5); S. intermedia (Husnot) Pears. (5); Radula complanata (L.) Dum. (5); Madotheca laevigata (Schrad.) Dum. (5); M. Cordeana (Hüben.) Dum. (5); Cololejeunea calcarea (Lib.) Schiffn.; Lejeunea patens Lindb. (5).
TRUE MOSSES. Seligeria doniana C.M.; S. pusilla B. & S.; S. recurvata B. & S.; Dicranodontium longirostre B. & S.; Grimmia doniana Sm.; Tetraplodon mniodes B. & S.; Mnium serratum Schrad.; Fontinalis antipyretica var. gracilis Schp.; Pseudoleskea catenulata B. & S.; Amblystegium irriguum B. & S.; Hypnum vernicosum Lindb.; H. cordifolium Hedw.
HEPATICS. Marsupella ustulata Spruce; Aplozia cordifolia (Hook.) Dum.; Calypogeia arguta Nees & Mont
Lorna I Scott