Gloucestershire Group: Sapperton

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12 November 2023 (10:30 - 16:00)

Meeting report

10 hardy souls braved the rain to meet outside the Church at Sapperton. We had checked whether there would be a Remembrance Day service at the church (fortunately not), but hadn’t bargained on the large group of walkers competing for parking spots! We all managed to park however, then spent an hour or so in the churchyard. For some it was a gentle introduction to some of the commoner species, for others a bit of a refresher after a few weeks of discouragingly wet and windy weather. There was abundant Homalothecium sericeum on the gravestones and a lovely patch of Lunularia cruciata in the shade next to the church. A few saxicolous species competed with the Homalothecium (Grimmia pulvinata, Syntrichia montana, Schistidium crassipilum…). A couple of trees yielded some epiphytes including Lewinskya affinis, Pulvigera lyellii, Orthotrichum pulchellum, Frullania dilatata, Metzgerioa violacea and furcata. Capsules of Hypnum andoi and H. cupressiforme var. resupinatum were compared (the latter having a much more rostrate capsule lid).

We then walked down the lane into Dorvel Wood, first stopping to admire some beautiful Porella platyphylla on a stone wall (hopefully the residents of the house were out, otherwise they would have been wondering what we were all up to!). Dorvel Wood proved a little disappointing in terms of variety, though we may have missed things thanks to the persistent rain. It was very mossy, but rather dominated by Thamnobryum alopecurum. It took some searching even to find Isothecium myosuroides (which is usually very common in Gloucestershire woodlands). Only one small patch of Mnium hornum was seen and Atrichum undulatum not at all! Sharon spotted a lovely patch of fruiting Neckera pumila however, and our lunch spot had some beautiful Metzgeria consanguinea. George spent a lot of time inspecting Frullania dilatata for a rare Bryocentria (bryophilous fungus) – and later reported that he had managed to find some.

Unfortunately the rain didn’t let up at all, so after lunch people started to drift away one by one, fed up with water seeping through jackets and misted up glasses / hand lenses. Nonetheless it was an enjoyable day and good to spend time out with other bryologists!

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Meeting details

Meet at Sapperton Church (parking in nearby lane) at SO94780337. We will look in the churchyard then move on to Dorvel Wood at SO94670378.

All are welcome, no previous knowledge required. If you plan to stay for the day, please bring a packed lunch.

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

Download the Risk Assessment