Annual meeting 1966: Tavistock, Devon

HomeEventsAnnual meeting 1966: Tavistock, Devon

31 March 1966 - 5 April 1966

Meeting report

The Annual General and Field Meeting of the Society in 1966 took place at Tavistock, S. Devon, from 31 March to 5 April, under the joint leadership of Mrs J. A. Paton and Dr M. C. F. Proctor, who are to be congratulated for arranging a programme full of variety and interest. The excursions took the party, which numbered about thirty, to parts of East Cornwall (v.-c. 2) and South and North Devon (v.-cs. 3 and 4). The region had been well worked for bryophytes already, and few new records were made during the week, though several rare and interesting plants were seen.

The first outing, on 31 March, was to Black Tor Copse (v.-c. 4), one of Dartmoor’s well-known high oakwoods (1250 ft.) in the shelter of the valley of the West Okement River. The granite boulders in the wood, and the trunks and larger branches of the oaks, were covered with a thick clothing of bryophytes which included Douinia ovata, Plagiochila punctata, P. spinulosa, Dicranum scottianum and Thuidium delicatulum. Large cushions of Lepidozia pinnata occurred in some of the more sheltered crevices among the rocks. Antitrichia curtipendula has decreased greatly in this well known locality for it, and only two stunted specimens were seen, on oak branches. Atrichum crispum* was found in places along the banks of the West Okement, and other species noted from the Copse or adjacent moorland were Cephaloziella starkei, Nardia compressa, Odontoschisma sphagni, Scapania umbrosa, Solenostoma sphaerocarpum*, Andreaea rothii, A. rupestris*, Campylopus introflexus, Drepanocladus exannulatus var. rotae*, Fontinalis squamosa, Leptodontium flexifolium, Rhabdoweisia denticulata, Scorpidium scorpioides*, Sphagnum fimbriatum*, S. quinquefarium and Splachnum sphaericum.

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

A party which worked the lower part of the valley found Cephalozia connivens*, Lophozia excisa, Pleuridium subulatum*, Tetraphis browniana* and Schistostega pennata.

The second day’s excursion was to Cornwall (v.-c. 2). The morning was spent on the moors near Henwood, including Bearah Tor, Hawk’s Tor and Kilmar Tor. Members saw Cephalozia catenulata growing on peaty banks at Hawk’s Tor, and C. connivens, C. leucantha, C. media, Douinia ovata, Lepidozia pinnata, Metzgeria fruticulosa, Riccardia latifrons, Solenostoma pumilum, Tritomaria exsectiformis*, Antitrichia curtipendula (on rock), Aulacomnium palustre, Campylopus atrovirens, C. flexuosus, C. piriformis, Cynodontium bruntonii, Dicranum scottianum, Grimmia patens, Hylocomium brevirostre, Hypnum cupressiforme var. ericetorum, and Ulota phyllantha.

In the afternoon, an area of mine waste overgrown with vegetation and with shallow pools of water was investigated at Minions. Cephaloziella massalongoi and C. stellulifera were duly found beside one of the pools, together with C. starkei. Other noteworthy plants in the vicinity were Gymnomitrium obtusum*, Leiocolea badensis*, Lophozia alpestris, L. excisa, Marsupella funckii, Tritomaria exsectiformis, Oligotrichum hercynicum and Rhacomitrium canescens

2 April was again spent in Cornwall (v.-c. 2). The first area to be explored was the west side of the Tamar Valley at Chilsworthy. Much of this was wooded, but disfigured in places by heaps of red mine spoil whose surface crust had been colonized locally by Cephaloziella massalongoi and Solenostoma crenulatum, and by Pohlia rothii and P. annotina agg. Rocks by the river yielded Cinclodotus fontinaloides, Grimmia alpicola var. rivularis and Rhacomitrium aciculare, and bases of alder trunks had Leskea polycarpa, Tortula latifolia, Orthotrichum rivulare and, more rarely, O. sprucei. Solenostoma pumilum, B. cylindrica, Bryum donianum and Zygodon viridissimus var. vulgaris* were also seen.

After lunch the party moved on to Trebartha, with permission to work the large wooded estate there, through which run the River Lynher and its tributary Withey Brook. Rocks in the waterways were covered with Eurhynchium alopecuroides, Hyocomium flagellare, some, and Isothecium holtii; Fissidens curnowii formed dense patches on alluvium on the banks, and F. polyphyllus was particularly luxuriant inside an old mine shaft. Tortula marginata*, Drepanolejeunea hamatifolia* and Harpalejeunea ovata* were discovered by the diligent. Old elders in the estate bore very fine Cryphaea heteromalla, Neckera pumila and Zygodon conoideus. Members also listed Cephalozia media, Saccogyna viticulosa, Bartramia ithyphylla*, Hylocomium brevirostre and Sphagnum quinquefarium. Everyone was delighted when Dr Warburg and his family arrived; alas, this was to be his last excursion with the Society.

On 3 April the party fragmented, and localities in v.-cs. 2, 3 and 4 were worked by different groups.
The following finds resulted:
(i) Talland Bay (v.-c. 2)
– loamy cliff top:
Calypogeia arguta, Fissidens algarvicus, Weissia multicapsularis, Funaria fascicularis, Pterogonium gracile, Rhynchostegiella pumila and Scleropodium tourretii, to which may be added Fossombronia caespitiformis, found by another party on 5 April.
(ii) Tamar valley south of Launceston (v.-c. 2): Lejeunea cavifolia, Anomodon viticulosus, Cryphaea lamyana (also in v.-c. 4*) and Tortula latifolia. Most of the other members were able to see the Cryphaea during the remainder of the week, growing on tree bases at the water’s edge.
(iii) Fingle Bridge (v.-c. 3) : Porella pinnata, Grimmia montana, Orthotrichum pulchellum, O. rivulare, Rhabdoweisia fugax and Zygodon viridissimus
(iv) Steps Bridge (v.-c. 3): Grimmia montana, Porella pinnata and Orthotrichum rivulare.
(v) Dewarstone Rocks,
Shaugh Prior (v.-c. 3):
Cephalozia media, Lejeunea lamacerina var. azorica, Andreaea rothii, Cynodontium bruntonii, Diphyscium foliosum, Rhacomitrium aquaticum and Trichostomum tenuirostre.
(vi) Bolt Head (v.-c. 3): Riccia crozalsii, Campylopus polytrichoides.
(vii) Bolt Tail (v.-c. 3): Frullania tamarisci var. robusta, F. microphylla.
(viii) Plymouth (v.-c. 3) on limestone rocks near shore: Gymnostomum calcareum, Tortella nitida.

Lydford Gorge, which marks part of the boundary between v.-cs. 3 and 4, was visited on 4 April. The deep and humid ravine was favourable to the growth of many bryophytes, the more interesting of which were, in v.-c. 3 : Jubula hutchinsiae, Lejeunea lamacerina var. azorica, Lophocolea fragrans, Marchesinia mackaii, Saccogyna viticulosa, Diphyscium foliosum, Fissidens celticus (on a shaded, unstable loamy bank), F. curnowii, F. minutulus var. minutulus (on stones in river), F. osmundoides, Mnium stellare (abundant), Schistostega pennata, Tetraphis browniana, Thamnium alopecurum and, in v.-c. 4: Nowellia curvifolia, Fissidens celticus, Fontinalis squamosa and Isopterygium elegans

Brief forays were made in v.-c. 3 during the afternoon, in unpleasant weather, to Cox Tor where little was seen, Vixen Tor which gave records of Douinia ovata, Cynodontium bruntonii and Grimmia patens, and an outcrop of basic igneous rock on Brentor, which produced an interesting flora including Frullania fragilifolia, Porella thuja, Anomodon viticulosus, Camptothecium lutescens, Gymnostomum aeruginosum, Pterogonium gracile and Tortula intermedia.

During the week several members went to Holne Bridge (v.-c. 3) to see Fissidens serrulatus, and recorded Trichocolea tomentella, Cynodontium bruntonii, Diphyscium foliosum, Fissidens polyphyllus, Isothecium holtii, Mnium undulatum, Trichostomum crispulum and T. tenuirostre on the river bank, and Tortella nitida on the bridge.

The weather had been unreliable throughout the week, but on the last day, 5 April, the rain was so torrential that little attempt was made to keep to the scheduled programme. Those who did reach Dendles Wood (v.-c. 3) reported Nowellia curvifolia, Fissidens polyphyllus and Thuidium tamariscinum

B. Goater


Tavistock, Devon