BBS Southern Group: Pamber Forest, Tadley, Hampshire.

HomeEventsBBS Southern Group: Pamber Forest, Tadley, Hampshire.

10 February 2024 (10:00 - 15:00)

Pamber Forest is a large ancient semi-natural woodland north of Basingstoke on sand and clay. The north part merges with the heathland of Silchester Common and is fairly acid, but the south part is more basic.

We started from the car park on Impstone Road, and wandered into Lord’s Wood, SU6161, which contains a number of streams that run down from Silchester Common. It wasn’t long before we came across a patch of Sphagnum palustre, in the dark green squarrose form that is typically found under shade. The area was quite humid with a good range of epiphytes and some particularly acidophilic species such as Dicranum tauricum in small tufts and some rotting logs with Tetraphis pellucida. We followed the main stream downhill, ending up in a flooded forest of mature trees. We continued south through the woodland, noting more epiphytes including frequent Lewinskya striata.  There were plenty of cushions of Ulota – some were clearly U.bruchii but some had to be collected and dried out at home. This provided records of Ulota crispa ss and Ulota intermedia, which had managed to retain a few endostome teeth in old capsules to permit identification. Large patches of Radula complanata with abundant perianths were quite common.

Once SU6160 was entered, lunch was taken in an area with a number of fallen conifers with plenty of potential Sematophyllum substrumulosum habitat but we failed to find this. Moving further south the soil became more basic with Eurhychium striatum and Plagiomnium undulatum. An area which was being actively coppiced beside another stream looked unpromising but yielded Platygyrium repens and sheets of fruiting Homalia trichomanoides. On meeting the main NW/SE track we headed back northw wards, reaching an area of overgrown and rather dry heathland. There was a small depression with some more Sphagnum palustre, but little else of heathland. We followed a further stream eastwards to the exit, where Sharon found Conocephalum conicum ss which was very surprisingly wanted as a new VCR. Further on, we were pleased to find the more genuinely scarce plant, Herzogiella seligeri, on a decaying log by the path.

We ended the day with a respectable 77 taxa, relieved that we had opted for wellington boots.



Pamber Forest, Tadley, Hampshire