Annual meeting 1947: Kirriemuir

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3 September 1947 - 9 September 1947

Meeting report

A long period of drought had preceded the Annual Meeting held in Kirriemuir, Angus (V.C. 90), so that when members assembled there on 3 September the prospects of good field work seemed unpromising. In the afternoon of the day of arrival some members walked out to the Loch of Kinnordy, now reduced to a marsh about two miles to the west of the town. This was the original locality for Dicranum undulatum but it was looked for without success. The formerly extensive fir-woods had been cut down during two world wars with the result that the whole character of the vegetation had changed. Miss Duncan informs us that the members who went on after the meeting to Edzell, twenty miles away, discovered the moss in pine woods near the village. It grew in fair abundance under forty-year-old Scots pine, in company with Goodyera repens, Trientalis europaea, Dicranum scoparium, D. majus, Plagiothecium undulatum and Hypnum Schreberi . Some stems were found to measure over five inches, equalling Continental specimens in size, but no fruit was seen. On the following day an excursion was made by motor coach to the Sidlaw Hills, in the south-east of the county. Lundie Craggs, a high cliff of red sandstone was the centre of interest, and members climbed the cliffs and explored Drumsuldry Wood on the summit and then traversing a wet heath on the northern slopes returned along the margins of Long Loch to Ardgarth. The weather in the morning was still fine, and the bryophytes were in an extremely desiccated condition, especially on the dry rocks of the cliffs, but rain began to fall in the afternoon and eventually members were driven to shelter, finally returning to Kirriemuir at about 5 p.m. The following plants were recorded: Andreaea crassinervia, Dicranella rufescens Leucodon sciuroides var. morensis, Hypnum giganteum.

On Friday an excursion was arranged for the purpose of examining the River Isla at the Den of Airlie, between Ruthven and Kirkton of Airlie. This stream flowing south out of Glen Isla is at this point flanked with well-wooded high banks. The low water afforded excellent opportunities for an examination of the rocks, boulders, and banks of the stream, and some interesting plants were collected. Dicranum scoparium was frequent as an epiphyte on the alders overhanging the stream. Some members who had walked out from Kirriemuir early in the morning were rewarded by finding Lophozia Kunzeana * on the way. Other bryophytes collected were: Aplozia riparia var. rivularis, Chiloscyphus polyanthus var. rivularis *; Seligeria Doniana, S. recurvata, Fissidens crassipes *, Fontinalis squamosa, Pylaisia polyantha, Eurhynchium Teesdalei.

[* All records new to Angus.]

The party set out on the following day by motor coach along the beautiful Glen Clova. It had rained all night but the morning was hot and fine, and the berried rowans which lined the margins of the road and covered the lower slopes of the hills, glistened in the sunshine. Alighting at Millton of Clova, members commenced to climb up to Loch Brandy, by way of the streams which run out of the Loch. The Loch stands at about 2150 feet, with high cliffs of metamorphic rocks at the north-west end. These cliffs, the boulder screes, and scree slopes down to the margin of the Loch, provided habitats for many interesting bryophytes. The main party had split into small groups, so that the ground was well covered, and the whole of the afternoon was devoted to this area. Amongst the plants collected were: Gymnomitrium obtusurn, Lophozia alpestris, L. atlantica *, Chandonanthus setiformis var. alpinus; Distichium capillaceum, Rhabdoweisia fugax, Dicranoweisia crispula, Grimmia incurva, G. funalis, G. torquata, Fontinalis antipyretica var. gracilis, Pterogonium gracile.

No official excursion was arranged for the Sunday so that members could follow their own pursuits. Two parties, however, were formed, one to go to Glen Isla, and the other to Glen Prosen, in members’ cars. The Glen Isla party proceeded as far as Tulchan by car, and then followed on foot the course of the River Isla to where it is fed by the streams from Caenlochan. At this point, the party ascended the slopes of the glen to the cliffs above the 3000 feet contour on the east side of Glas Maol. This classic ground provided some fine alpine bryophytes, as well as the sight of some rare phanerogams. Whilst the party was taking lunch they saw a large herd of red deer which passed down the glen and up the slopes of Caderg. The afternoon was spent working the ledges of the cliffs and the corries below, which yielded the following interesting bryophytes: Lophozia alpestris, Bazzania tricrenata; Distichium capillaceum, Campylopus Schimperi, Dicranum fulvellum, D. Starkei, Barbula recurvirostra var. ruberrima, Anoectangium compactum, Zygodon lapponicus, Meesia uliginosa, Bartramia Halleriana Plagiobryum Zierii, Bryum Duvalii, Pseudoleskea catenulata, Hypnum callichroum, H. ochraceum.

The Glen Prosen party went to Old Craig by car and then walked up the glen. In contrast to Glen Clova there are comparatively few crags and most of these were visited. The main object was the finding of the fern Athyrium flexile of which Glen Prosen is the type locality, but it was not found. Cynodontium Jenneri was collected.

On Monday a whole day was spent exploring the Sands of Barry, near Carnoustie. This area of sand dunes and sandy heathland proved very interesting. In the damp slacks the hepatic Moerckia Flotowiana was seen in some quantity, together with Aneura sinuata var. major. Other bryophytes noted were: Distichium inclinatum, Bryum Warneum, Brachythecium salebrosum var. palustre.

On the last excursion the members once again went to Glen Clova, but on this occasion the party left the bus at the northernmost end of the Glen and proceeded to follow the South Esk to a point where the Fee Burn joins it. From thence the route lay along the boulder-strewn course of the burn to the cliffs and conies on the north east of Mayar. Rain began to fall steadily before midday, but this did not dishearten the enthusiasts, who continued their examination of the Fee Burn area. The rain and wind increased in intensity as the day went on, and gradually members made their way back to the waiting bus at the end of the Glen. Plants collected during the day included: Radula Lindbergiana; Saelania glaucescens, Weisia calcarea *, Oedipodium Griffithianum, Orthothecium rufescens, Hypnum molle.

Angus is a county which has been well worked by the early botanists, so it was not anticipated that many new plants would be recorded. Nevertheless, some interesting additions have been made to the list, and Miss Duncan, who is engaged in the preparation of the bryological part of a new Flora of Angus, will be glad to receive lists of plants collected in the county. The great success which attended the excursions was due to the careful planning and leadership of Miss Duncan, to whom the best thanks of the meeting were accorded at the Annual General Meeting held in the Airlie Arms Hotel, Kirriemuir, on Friday 5 September.

At this meeting the rules of the Society were revised and approved by those present. Officers of the Society gave their reports on the progress and activities during the past year. The Officers of the Society for 1948 were duly elected and a list will be found elsewhere in the Transactions. Dr P. W. Richards proposed that the best thanks of the Meeting be accorded to the retiring Secretary, Mr A. Thompson, for his past work in this office. The Editor of the Transactions thanked all those members who had helped in various ways in the production of the Transactions, and asked that the Printing Fund be continued in order to assist the finances of the Society. Following a report given by Dr E. F. Warburg on the work of the subcommittee which was appointed at the previous meeting, valuable discussions took place regarding the revision of the Census Catalogues. Messages of greeting were sent to Miss E. Armitage and Mr J. B. Duncan, the two Honorary Members who were elected at the last Meeting in Appleby. It was proposed to hold the next Annual Meeting and Excursion at Buxton Derbyshire, in April, under the leadership of Mr R. H. Hall.

F. A. Sowter
E. F Warburg