Annual meeting 1968: Ross-on-Wye

HomeEventsAnnual meeting 1968: Ross-on-Wye

3 April 1968 - 9 April 1968

Meeting report

The Annual General and Field Meeting was held at Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, from 3-9 April and was attended by thirty-four members. Most of the planned excursions were in Herefordshire (v.-c. 36), with one day in the Forest of Dean, W. Gloucestershire (v.-c. 34), but most members also visited neighbouring counties. Although Herefordshire had been well worked in the past and few new vice-county records could be expected, a number of interesting plants were found. Almost no mapping had previously been carried out in the region so that the lists made during the week, in twenty of the 10 km. squares of the Ordnance Survey National Grid, were a valuable contribution to the mapping scheme.

4 April. Bright sunshine was particularly welcome as it soon melted most of the snow that had preceded our arrival at Ross. Members worked in small parties to explore the woods and valleys near Woolhope, south-east of Hereford (v.-c. 36). Areas visited included Haugh Wood, where Ptilidium pulcherrimum* and Bryum ruderale* were found, and The Plantation which produced Campylium calcareum; Funaria fascicularis and Weissia rutilans were seen in a field on Backbury Hill and Plagiothecium denticulatum* on the edge of the wood; Tortula papillosa, Orthodontium lineare*, Rhynchostegiella curviseta, Isopterygium depressum, Plagiothecium sylvaticum*, Reboulia hemisphaerica and Lejeunea ulicina* were seen on or near Cherry Hill; Pottia caespitosa was refound on Common Hill where Fissidens exilis, P. lanceolata, P. recta, Phascum curvicollum, Acaulon muticum, Barbula acuta and Cephaloziella stellulifera were also noted. Members met for lunch at Broadmoor Common, and then visited Caplar Wood, where Orthotrichum sprucei was refound on trees on the bank of the R. Wye. Other species seen included Tortula latifolia, Cinclidotus fontinaloides, Barbula nicholsonii, Grimmia alpicola var. rivularis, Scleropodium tourretii, Eurhynchium schleicheri and Marchesinia mackaii. Tortula subulata var. subinermis and Barbula spadicea were found on the river bank near Perrystone Court.

[* New v.-c. record ]

5 April. Members drove to the Black Mountains above the Olchon Valley on the western border of Herefordshire. Work was somewhat hampered by snow but the steep Old Red Sandstone slopes of Red and Black Darens (v.-c. 36) were explored. Plants seen included Barbula ferruginascens, Philonotis calcarea, Isopterygium pulchellum, Orthothecium intricatum, Preissia quadrata*, Leiocolea bantriensis, Barbilophozia floerkei*, B. barbata*, Tritomaria quinquedentata and Marchesinia mackaii. After lunch one party who went to Blaen Olchon at the head of the valley found Plagiobryum zieri, Hygrohypnum eugyrium*, H. ochraceum*, Leiocolea muelleri, Sphenolobus minutus*, Mylia taylori* and Scapania uliginosa*. Another party visited Cwm Coedycerrig, west of Llanvihangel-Crucorney (v.-c. 35), and recorded Orthodontium lineare, Thuidium recognitum*, Hygroamblystegium tenax, Plagiothecium curvifolium, Trichostomum sinuosum and Porella laevigata. Other members explored the Grwyne Fawr Valley (v.-c. 35 and 42), where plants seen included Seligeria recurvata and Leiocolea badensis.

6 April. Members explored the Forest of Dean (v.-c. 34) in small parties. On the heaths around the ponds near Hazel Hill, Dicranum bonjeanii, Cratoneuron commutatum var. falcatum and eight species of Sphagnum were seen; Encalypta vulgaris, Pottia lanceolata, Barbula hornschuchiana, Lophozia excisa and L. bicrenata were noted on shale tips near by, and Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus was found in adjacent woodland. Cephaloziella stellulifera occurred on waste ground north of Ruspidge Halt, while in Sutton Bottom Fissidens minutulus var. minutulus, Tetraphis pellucida, Metzgeria fruticulosa and Porella platyphylla were recorded. Fissidens exilis and Campylopus introflexus were found on Bearse Common, and F. viridulus, Aloina aloides, Tortella tortuosa, Campylium protensum and Cololejeunea rossettiana were seen in quarries near by. Mnium stellare, Hylocomium brevirostre and Lejeunea ulicina were noted in woodlands near Wyegate Green. After meeting near Cannop for lunch, members gravitated westwards to richer ground in the Wye valley. Plants seen on the limestone crags of The Slaughter (v.-c. 34) included Scorpiurium circinatum, Metzgeria conjugata, M. pubescens, Solenostoma sphaerocarpoidea and Anomodon longifolius, but members were distressed to find that a large patch of this very rare plant had already been needlessly removed. Tortula latifolia, Cinclidotus fontinaloides, Orthotrichum rivulare and O. sprucei were noted on the river banks near Brockweir. In the ravine at Llandogo (v.-c. 35), Plectocolea paroica, Plagiochila spinulosa*, Lophocolea fragrans, Saccogyna viticulosa, Lejeunea patens*, Fissidens curnowii*, F. rivularis and Jubula hutchinsiae were recorded, the last two also being seen in the valley above Whitebrook. Bryum micro-erythrocarpum* was found on Huntsham Hill (v.-c. 36).

The Annual General Meeting was held at 8.30 p.m.

7 April. No excursions had been planned for Sunday but members visited a number of different areas. Those who explored the wooded slopes and valleys near Tintern (v.-c. 35) recorded Pohlia rothii*, Rhynchostegiella teesdalei, Isopterygium depressum, Metzgeria fruticulosa and Diplophyllum obtusifolium, while Encalypta streptocarpa, Gyroweisia tenuis and Brachythecium glareosum were seen in a roadside quarry south of Tintern. Plants noted in a wooded glen below Cwrt Gilbert, south-west of Brecon (v.-c. 42), included Fissidens curnowii, Dicranodontium denudatum and Grimmia alpicola var. rivularis. Polytrichum alpestre, Splachnum ampullaceum, Acrocladium stramineum, A. cordifolium, Marchantia polymorpha var. aquatica*, Odontoschisma sphagni* and seven species of Sphagnum were seen on Rhosgoch Common near Painscastle (v.-c. 43). On the bank of the R. Wye near Bredwardine (v.-c. 36), one party saw Orthotrichum rivulare, O. sprucei, Myrinia pulvinata and Porella pinnata*. Fissidens celticus* was found on a stream bank near Luxley, N. of Mitcheldean and Ptilidium pulcherrimum* on an oak in Newent Wood (both v.-c. 34). Riccia warnstorfii and R. glauca* were seen near Redmarley D’Abitot (v.-c. 37), where Sphaerocarpos michelii and S. texanus were refound; the latter was also seen, with Dicranella staphylina and Pleuridium subulatum, in a field near Phocle Green, north-east of Ross (v.-c. 36). Plagiothecium curvifolium* was located in Chase Wood near Ross, and at Sellack Tortula papillosa and Bryum donianum were recorded. Tortula stanfordensis* was found on the bank of the R. Wye near Hoarwithy and on the following day T. vahliana was discovered on the roadside here, and more T. stanfordensis on the river bank east of Bolstone.

8 April. Members explored the limestone south of Great Doward (v.-c. 36) but were disappointed not to see a number of the species previously recorded there. However, Fissidens minutulus var. tenuifolius*, Tortula marginata, Gymnostomum calcareum, Bryum radiculosum, Mnium marginatum, M. cuspidatum, Campylium protensum, C. calcareum, Isopterygium striatulum, Eurhynchium schleicheri, Rhytidium rugosum, Riccia warnstorfii and Solenostoma sphaerocarpodea were noted. In north-facing limestone quarries near Welsh Bicknor, luxuriant carpets of bryophytes included Ctenidium molluscum, Hylocomium splendens, Rhytidiadelphus triquetrus and Plagiochila asplenioides c.per.

9 April. Members visited Cocksbrook Wood near Orcop (v.c. 36), which proved disappointing, but Ephemerum serratum var. minutissimum, Anthoceros laevis and Fossombronia pusilla were seen in adjacent fields. The rocks on Garvay Hill Common were only found by one small party who recorded Polytrichum nanum, Campylopus introflexus*, Encalypta vulgaris, Grimmia orbicularis and Pterogonium gracile. In the valley of the R. Monnow north-east of Skenfrith (v.c. 35), Fissidens crassipes, Dicranella staphylina, Rhynchostegiella teesdalei and Tortula stanfordensis* were found. The latter was also seen on both banks of the R. Wye below Whitebrook (v.-c. 35 and 34*). Broad Meend bog near Trelleck (v.-c. 35) has deteriorated since the surrounding heaths were drained and planted with conifers but it was included on the programme as it is almost the only lowland bog in the district. Dicranum bonjeanii, Lepidozia setacea, Calypogeia muellerana, Mylia anomala, Cephalozia bicuspidata var. lammersiana*, C. connivens, Odontoschisma sphagni and five species of Sphagnum were noted here.

Although few of the areas visited were rich bryologically, ninety-four species and varieties of hepatics and over 260 species and varieties of mosses were noted by members during the week, and thirty-three new vice-county records were made. Temperatures during the week were generally low but we were fortunate in having dry weather nearly every day and members worked late into the evenings, covering many areas not included on the programme. I am grateful to all those who took the trouble to send in mapping cards and lists of their finds during the week, and to the Forestry Commission and landowners who gave us permission to visit their properties.

Jean A. Paton