Annual meeting 1965: Llandrindod Wells

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6 April 1965 - 13 April 1965

Meeting report

The 1965 Annual General and Field Meeting of the Society was held at Llandrindod Wells, Radnorshire, from 6 to 13 April. This was the first visit of the Society to Radnorshire, a county which was relatively unknown bryologically. During the course of the week localities situated on a variety of rock types, including Silurian shales, Carboniferous and Silurian limestones and Old Red Sandstone, were visited. This variation in types of habitat, together with the large number of localities visited, resulted in the finding of about fifty new vice-county records and the listing of from 61 to 180 species in twenty 10 km. grid squares for the mapping scheme.

The morning of the first excursion on 7 April was spent on Craig-ddu cliffs and in the valley below, near Rhayader (v.-c. 43). Bryum riparium* was found in the bed of the valley stream and was later found to be not infrequent, though in small quantities, in shale crevices in and beside streams throughout the area. Also by the stream there were Sphagnum teres*, Ditrichum lineare*, Dicranella subulata, Campylopus introflexus*, Hypnum cupressiforme var. mamillatum* and Nardia compressa*, and on nearby trees Zygodon viridissimus var. vulgaris*. In some small caves by the road small quantities of Schistostega pennata* were discovered. Most members spent the afternoon in the vicinity of the Afon Diluw where it flows through a deep, damp gorge forming the boundary between Cardiganshire and Montgomery. Species of interest found on the Montgomery (v.-c. 47) side of the stream included Sphagnum tenellum*, Atrichum crispum*, Campylopus subulatus, Pohlia elongata*, Bryum riparium, Pellia neesiana*, Plectocolea hyalina*, P. obovata and Odontoschisma sphagni*.

[* New v.-c. record throughout. ]

The Aberedw Rocks (v.-c. 43) were visited on the morning of 8 April. The rock outcrop is formed from a series of horizontally bedded sandstones of varying degrees of basicity and faces west. Amongst the 130 or so species recorded were Fissidens minutulus var. tenuifolius, Seligeria recurvata, Rhabdoweisia fugax*, Weissia rutilans* Bartramia stricta, Zygodon viridissimus vars. stirtonii and vulgaris, Heterocladium heteropterum var. flaccidum, Scleropodium tourretii, Rhynchostegiella teesdalei, Targionia hypophylla, Lophozia excisa*, L. bicrenata, Marchesinia mackaii and Frullania tamarisci vars. cornubica* and robusta*.

In the afternoon a party visited the banks of the river Wye and a tributary, the Bach Howey, still in v.-c. 43, near Erwood. On the trunks of various trees, especially on ash, there was a considerable growth of epiphytes, including Tortula subulata var. subinermis, Orthotrichum rivulare and a lush form of O. affine with broad, wide-pointed leaves. On rocks in and beside the Wye and Bach Howey were Cinclidotus fontinaloides, Grimmia alpicola var. rivularis and Scleropodium caespitosum. On patches of muddy rutted ground with casual weeds, giving rise to temporary bryophyte communities, were Fissidens exilis*, Pleuridium subulatum, Ephemerum serratum var. serratum*, Funaria fascicularis, Pohlia delicatula* and Riccia glauca*.

A second party visited Llanddewi’r Cwm in Breconshire (v.-c. 42) and recorded Fissidens rufulus, Cynodontium bruntonii, Mnium longirostrum, Rhynchostegiella teesdalei, Isopterygium depressum, Solenostoma pumilum, S. sphaerocarpoideum and Porella cordaeana.

The third day’s excursion was to the Elan Valley (v.-c. 43). Most of the party spent the morning exploring a precipitous stream draining into the Garreg-ddu reservoir. Although the rock was Silurian shale there were a few slightly basic patches as evidenced by the presence of Ctenidium molluscum. However, little of note was found other than Cynodontium bruntonii, Rhabdoweisia denticulata, Pohlia elongata, Pellia neesiana, Barbilophozia attenuata*, Marsupella aquatica*, Lophocolea heterophylla* and Frullania fragilifolia. The most interesting find of the week, Solenostoma caespiticium*, was made by a small group of members who had missed the main party and stopped at the northern end of the Garreg-ddu reservoir. They also found Rhabdoweisia fugax and Ditrichum lineare. The afternoon was extremely wet and the party split into small groups, most of whom returned early to Llandrindod Wells. A party visited a waterfall north of Rhosygelynnen by the Garreg-ddu reservoir where they saw Dicranodontium denudatum* and Odontoschisma denudatum*. A small group paid a quick visit to Constitution Hill, Aberystwyth (v.c. 46), where they saw Trichostomum brachydontium var. littorale and Coscinodon cribrosus. Barbula rigidula* was recorded from the Penygarreg reservoir (v.-c. 43).

On 10 April the excursion was to the Black Mountain and valley of the Afon Sawdde and its tributaries in eastern Carmarthenshire (v.-c. 44). Much of the Black Mountain is Carboniferous limestone overlying Old Red Sandstone. The latter rock outcrops to the north of the Black Mountain in the valley of the Afon Sawdde. The weather was wet in the morning but despite this a number of interesting species was found on rock ledges and in the quarries of the Black Mountain. Amongst them were Distichium inclinatum, Tortula subulata var. graeffii*, Mnium marginatum, Philonotis calcarea, Scapania cuspiduligera and S. aequiloba. Grimmia stricta* was recorded from another part of the mountain. In the afternoon small parties visited various parts of the valleys to the north of the mountain. The Old Red Sandstone proved acid and the flora was less rich than had been hoped. Pohlia bulbifera*, Zygodon conoideus*, Plagiothecium succulentum*, Leiocolea muelleri and Lejeunea cavifolia* were found by the Sawdde Fechan south-east of Llangadock. By a small tributary of the Afon Clydach at Pont Aber, Fissidens minutulus var. minutulus, Mnium longirostrum and Lejeunea ulicina* were noted and, by the Afon Mihertach, Dicranodontium denudatum* and Ptilidium pulcherrimum*.

A small party spent a strenuous day visiting Carreg yr Ogof where they were rewarded with Bryum mildeanum*.

The annual general meeting of the Society was held at the headquarters hotel in the evening.

There were no organized excursions on Sunday, 11 April, and a number of localities were visited by small groups of members. The places visited and some of the species found are as follows:

Tarren yr Esgob in the Black Mountains (v.-c. 42):

The rocks visited were basic and species seen included Seligeria trifaria, Encalypta ciliata, Tortula subulata vars. subulata and graeffii, Leptobryum pyriforme*, Anomobryum concinnatum, Philonotis calcarea, Isopterygium pulchellum, Lophozia alpestris, Leiocolea bantriensis, Solenostoma sphaerocarpoideum*, Scapania subalpina and Frullania tamarisci var. cornubica* .

By the Afon Tywi near Ystafell Twm Shon-Catti (v.-c. 44):

Sphagnum quinquefarium, Campylopus subulatus, a tall, densely tufted form of Rhacomitrium heterostichum, Zygodon viridissimus var. vulgaris*, Lophozia alpestris*, Plectocolea hyalina, Cephaloziella starkei, Scapania subalpina, Lejeunea lamacerina var. azorica*.

Roadside near Llanwrtyd Wells (v.-c. 42):

Schistostega pennata*, Marsupella ustulata, Cephaloziella hampeana.

Below Banc-y-cwm, Cwm Graig Ddu near Garth (v.-c. 42):

Lejeunea patens* Frullania tamarisci var. cornubica.

Ogofau gold mines near Pumpsaint (v.-c. 44):

Zygodon viridissimus var. vulgaris, Eurhynchium praelongum var. stokesii.

The excursions on the last day, 12 April, were to Water-break-its-neck and Stanner Rocks, both in Radnorshire (v.-c. 43). The former is a cascade falling into a humid gorge eroded through Silurian shale. It was hoped to see there Fissidens algarvicus recorded previously in 1957 (Trans. BBS 3, 476). Attempts to find the plant were, however, unsuccessful and it would seem that the species is of short duration at least in some habitats. In the course of the search for it a number of other species was found including Fissidens viridulus, F. minutulus var. tenuifolius, Bryum capillare var. elegans*, Isopterygium pulchellum*, Plectocolea obovata and Cephaloziella starkei. On a bank beside the track to the waterfall there was a little Diplophyllum obtusifolium.

Stanner Rocks is a partly quarried outcrop of Silurian limestone beside the Worcester-Aberystwyth road and is very well known botanically. Species recorded on this visit included Grimmia commutata, G. stirtonii, G. subsquarrosa, Bartramia stricta and, on the trunk of an elm at the foot of rocks, Tortula papillosa*.

After visiting Stanner Rocks the party split up, members visiting various localities (all in v.-c. 43) as follows:

Llandegle Rocks:

Grimmia doniana, Orthodontium lineare, Barbilophozia attenuata, Cephaloziella starkei, Porella cordaeana.

Small rock outcrop west of Abbey Cwmhir:

Grimmia conferta.

By the Clywedog Brook east of Abbey Cwmhir:

a diminutive form of Fontinalis antipyretica on partly submerged alder roots, Plagiothecium latebricola*.

Camnant Brook north of Castle Bank:

Dicranum bonjeanii, Scorpidium scorpioides, Acrocladium stramineum, Cephaloziella hampeana, C. starkei.

A. J. E. Smith



Llandrindod Wells