Gloucestershire Group: Hillesley

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5 December 2021 (10:30 - 15:30)

Meeting report

9 of us assembled at the village hall in Hillesley for a day peering down microscopes. Pete (Martin) brought a selection of Didymodons for the more experienced bryologists to try their hand at identifying (including one trick specimen – you guessed it, Ceratodon purpureus!). Sharon brought fresh specimens of Dicranella howei (and D. varia for comparison) which has recently been added to the British list and is probably quite common in Gloucestershire.

Pete volunteered to spend time with new members who have had little or no experience with microscopy, and ended up with practically the whole group standing around his desk.

Gary had a look at the Dicranella specimens and reckons he’s probably seeing quite a bit of D. howei around the Cheltenham area.

A few people struggled manfully with the Didymodon specimens and key. Axillary hairs were sought and occasionally found, and tiny shoots tackled in attempts to get usable sections. The ‘whole dry shoot’ technique was demonstrated by Sharon and agreed to be slightly more successful than attempting to section individual leaves.

Last but not least, much cake was consumed. Thanks to Pete for chocolate brownies (made by himself of course), Wendy for a homemade sponge with gooseberry jam and Gary for mince pies.

And thanks to everyone for an enjoyable day.

Meeting details

Leaders: Peter Martin & Claire Halpin

This indoor meeting will be held in a venue we have previously used, a village hall in Hillesley, near Wotton-under-Edge and we will allow a maximum of 10 people. Please email to check availability and reserve a place.

If you have your own microscopes, we would ask that you bring them along please. We will also try and obtain a couple of the BBS microscopes for those who do not have their own (although this is going to be difficult as they are currently kept by someone living in Derbyshire!).

We will be looking for topics to focus on closer to the date, so please have a think and let us know.

Please ensure that you download and read the Risk Assessment below before the meeting

Download the Risk Assessment

Hopkins Hall, Hillesley