Annual meeting 1954: Monmouth

HomeEventsAnnual meeting 1954: Monmouth

15 April 1954 - 19 April 1954

Meeting report

The Annual Meeting was held in Monmouth from 15 to 19 April and was attended by thirty-three members.

On Wednesday evening, 14 April, the members assembled at the headquarters, the Beaufort Arms Hotel, where a room was placed at the disposal of the Society for its meetings.

For the first day’s excursion on 15 April, the members set out on foot for Lady Park Wood (V.C. 35) and The Slaughter (V.C. 34) in the Wye Valley. On the way the roadside banks were examined and Mnium stellare, Eurhynchium schleicheri and Lophozia turbinata were seen in some quantity. The wooded limestone cliffs of Lady Park Wood above the River Wye were the main destination and here were found Gymnostomum calcareum, Eucladium verticillatum, Bryum argenteum var. lanatum (new to V.C. 35), Pterogonium gracile, Amblystegiella sprucei (new to V.C. 35), Orthothecium intricatum, Cololejeunea rossettiana and Marchesinia mackaii. On rocks by the River Wye Cinclidotus fontinaloides and Hygroamblystegium fluviatile were noted, the former being in fruit and abundant. The trees by the river yielded Tortula latifolia and Orthotrichum sprucei. After a picnic lunch the afternoon was spent in exploring that part of the same area of woodland, situated in West Gloucestershire and known as The Slaughter. On the rocky slopes of the wood a successful search was made to refind Anomodon longifolius. Unfortunately, it was not in very good condition and appeared to be in smaller quantity than formerly. Other interesting bryophytes seen here were Seligeria calcarea, Campylium sommerfeltii, Isothecium striatulum, Scleropodium caespitosum, Aplozia atrovirens var. sphaerocarpoidea, Calypogeia arguta, Cololejeunea calcarea, C. rossettiana and Marchesinia mackaii. After a walk through the woods a halt was made for tea at the White Horse Inn, Staunton. Afterwards a number of members felt sufficiently refreshed to walk back to Monmouth via the Duke of York lane (V.C. 35) under the guidance of Dr E. W. Jones. On the rocky banks of the lane Scleropodium illecebrum and Cephaloziella turneri, both previously recorded, were pointed out. A nearby fallow field yielded Ditrichum cylindricum.

16 April. A visit was made by motor-coach to Taren yr Esgob near Capel-y-ffin, in the upper part of the Vale of Ewyas, better known as the Llanthony Valley. The Old Red Sandstone cliffs, or tarens as they are locally called, were frequently visited by the late Rev. Augustine Ley and he recorded a large number of mosses from them; however, since most of his records appear to have been made in the Monmouthshire parts of the valley, our attention was confined to the Breconshire part of Taren yr Esgob. A large number of bryophytes were seen, of which Fissidens curnowii, Dichodontium pellucidum var. fagimontanum, Barbula reflexa and Weisia rutilans are new county records for V.C. 42. The other bryophytes met with included Brachydontium trichodes, Blindia acuta, Seligeria recurvata, Dicranum bonjeani, Gymnostomum aeruginosum, Eucladium verticillatum, Leptodontium flexifolium, Grimmia trichophylla, Pohlia elongata, P. cruda, Plagiobryum zierii, Anomobryum filiforme, Plagiopus oederi, Bartramia halleriana, B. pomiformis, B. ithyphylla, Philonotis calcarea, Hedwigia ciliata, Heterocladium heteropterum var. flaccidum, Campylium protensum, Orthothecium intricatum, Isopterygium pulchellum, Reboulia hemisphaerica, Preissia quadrata, Marsupella funckii, M. emarginata, Lophozia turbinata, L. muelleri, L. bantriensis, L. alpestris, L. quinquedentata, L. floerkii, Cephaloziella starkii, Blepharostoma trichophyllum, Scapania aspera, Madotheca laevigata, Cololejeunea calcarea and Lejeunea cavifolia.

17 April. The Symonds Yat area in the Wye Valley was the venue for the third day’s excursion. Most of the morning was spent exploring Coldwell Rocks (V.C. 34) which, like those of Lady Park Wood, are precipitous Carboniferous Limestone cliffs bordering the River Wye. After some search Bryum canariense var. provinciale was seen in rather small quantity. Tortula marginata and Cirriphyllum crassinervium were also seen on the ‘Rocks’, but there appeared to be little else of particular interest. Heterocladium hereropterum var. flaccidum and Rhynchostegiella pallidirostra were met with in the neighbourhood of Symonds Yat Rock. The rocks in and along the edge of the River Wye were carefully searched and the following were noted: Fissidens crassipes, Cinclidotus fontinaloides, Barbula nicholsonii, Grimmia alpicola var. rivularis and Hygroamblystegium fluviatile. In the afternoon Huntsham Hill, Herefordshire (V.C. 36) was visited. This is a boulder-strewn hill of Old Red Sandstone situated in a bend of the River Wye. On rocks by the river Fissidens crassipes and F. rufulus were found, whilst trees on the river bank yielded Tortula papillosa and Orthotrichum sprucei, and the bank itself, Fissidens incurvus and F. pusillus. At the base of the hill and at the bottom of a damp shady rock, near a cottage, a fine colony of Leptobryum pyriforme was met with. Amongst the bryophytes with which the boulders are well clothed the following of special interest were seen, Dicranum scottianum, D. fuscescens, Grimmia trichophylla, G. retracta (new to V.C. 36), Pterogonium gracile, Isopterygium depressum, Calypogeia arguta, Lophozia porphyroleuca (new to V.C. 36), and Scapania gracilis.

18 April. The day started showery and it seemed that the excellent weather we had experienced on the first three days had come to an end, but on arrival at Trelleck the skies cleared and a fine, sunny day followed. The members left the motor-coach at the Virtuous Well, an old medicinal spring, at Trelleck, and after exploring the marshy field surrounding it, moved on to Broad Meend, better known to botanists as Trelleck Bog. Although popularly called a bog and large patches of Sphagnetum are present, Molinia coerulea is dominant over most of the area. On the way the old walls were searched and Lophozia excisa was seen in fine condition. The locality had been so thoroughly searched for bryophytes by Miss E. A. Armitage that it was not expected that many new records would be made for the locality; nevertheless, the following additions were seen : Sphagnum recurvum, Dicranum bonjeani, Lophozia porphyroleuca, Calypogeia trichomanis and Cephaloziella hampeana. The three latter being new to V.C. 35. The old walls between Broad Meend and Cleddon were carefully searched for Grimmia montana which had been recorded from them, but no trace of it could be found. It is probable that some form of G. trichophylla, which is particularly abundant there, was mistaken for it. After a picnic lunch Llandogo Glen was visited, and the following were seen: Fissidens pusillus, F. rufulus, F. rivularis, Ditrichum homomallum, Brachydontium trichodes (new to V.C. 35), Dichodontium pellucidum var. flavescens, Trichostomum tenuirostre, Heterocladium heteropterum var. flaccidum, Plagiothecium silvaticum var. succulentum (new to V.C. 35), Aneura sinuata, Metzgeria conjugata, Lophocolea fragrans (new to V.C. 35), Calypogeia fissa,, Trichocolea tomentella, Jubula hutchinsiae. In the evening a few members visited Whitebrook Valley, about two miles north of Llandogo, and recorded Fissidens rivularis, Dicranella schreberiana, Funaria fascicularis, Physcomitrium pyriforme, Rhynchostegiella teesdalei, Riccia warnstorfii (new to V.C. 35), R. sorocarpa, Fossombronia pusilla and Lophocolea fragrans.

19 April. The last excursion was to Llanbedr, near Crickhowell, Breconshire. In the lane leading from the village to the river, the Grwyne Fechan, Eurhynchium schleicheri was noted. Fissidens rivularis was seen in some abundance on rocks in the bed of the river and was very luxuriant on wet dripping rocks around a small spring. Fissidens crassipes and F. rufulus were also recorded. Other bryophytes seen included Dichodontium pellucidum var. flavescens, Heterocladium heteropterum var. flaccidum, Hygroamblystegium fluviatile, H. tenax, Hygrohypnum luridum, Cirriphyllum piliferum, and Rhynchostegiella teesdalei. A few members visited Cwm Milaid about 1½ miles north of Llanbedr, but apart from Tortula laevipila and Leucodon sciuroides growing on the bole of an ash, Funaria fascicularis and Rynchostegiella teesdalei, little of special interest was seen there. A small party also went to Cwm Banw about 4 miles north of Llanbedr and saw Fissidens exiguus. Gliffaes, on the River Usk, and about 3½ miles west of Crickhowell, was also visited by some members and here Fissidens rufulus, Orthotrichum cupulatum and its var. nudum, and Scleropodium caespitosum were seen. A search for Bryum gemmiparum, first recorded by the Rev. A. Ley in 1890 from the Breconshire side of the Grwyne Fawr, was rewarded by its being found on the Monmouthshire bank of the river.

Grateful thanks are due to those members who kindly sent lists of the bryophytes they had noted on the excursion.

A. E. Wade