Lothians Group: Bara Loch

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30 March 2024 (10:30 - 15:00)

Meeting report

Covering two monads, Bara Loch is an artificial loch, created by the Younger family in the 1930s, with woodland on three sides and hilly grassland to the south. In the woods is an old quarry, now used only for fly-tipping. A small stream called the Sounding Burn enters the Loch from the west and continues beyond the dam at the east end. A second small burn arrives from the south.

March outings have not proved very popular in the past and choosing the Easter weekend probably clashed with family get-togethers. Only four met in Haddington from where Carolyn drove us the five miles or so to Bara. The recent rain ensured that most of the bryophytes were in good condition, and the warmth of the Spring sunshine made for a comfortable excursion. Digressing from bryophytes there were Bee-flies Bombylius major, a Peacock butterfly Algais io, and a Bumblebee Bombus lucorum agg. Vlad identified a Rove beetle as Ocypus olens.

Some stones low down on a mossy dyke were covered in Radula complanata which was also very common on trees. David found a productive rotting log with fruiting Orthodontium lineare and Cephalozia curvifolia. He then spent some time at the edge of the Loch before returning triumphant with Calliergon giganteum. We looked at liverworts on acidic soil and then sheltered from the one shower of the day. After lunch David and Carolyn explored the quarry which had a good populations of Homalia trichomanoides and Sciuro-hypnum populeum, with some Tortula subulata and Weissia controversa. The Sounding Burn was shaded and unproductive but the path along the south side of the Loch had a range of small acrocarps not seen earlier including Pleuridium acuminatum and Pohlia annotina. The second burn descending through the hilly grassland was also interesting, with small patches of Chiloscyphus polyanthos and Hygrohypnum luridum.

The provisional list records almost 90 species. Thanks to David Chamberlain for finding many of them and identifying even more. Thanks also to Carolyn for providing transport to the site.

David Adamson, March 2024

Download provisional list of species

Meeting details

The next meeting of the Group is on Saturday 30 March 2024. Please meet at 10:30 in Haddington from where we will car share to Bara Loch (near Gifford) where a soft roadside verge may limit the number of vehicles. The meeting should end around 15:00.

The meeting place in Haddington is Whittinghame Drive, EH41 4BB (next to Screwfix). Grid ref: NT51900 73964 echo.aside.round

The aim is to identify and record bryophytes in two monads. The main habitats are mixed woodland and acid grassland. Although the Loch itself appears to lack bryological interest there is a small burn running into and from the Loch. There is also a good path, without steep slopes, which circles the Loch.

East Coast Bus service X7 leaves from Waterloo Place, Edinburgh, at 09:27 and arrives in Haddington at 10:11. The Market Street stop is nearest to the meeting place, but for toilets you should get off immediately before this at the Corn Exchange stop.

Please email David Adamson davidadamson32@gmail.com no later than the end of Thursday 28 March 2024 if you wish to attend. Please also state whether travelling by bus or car.


Bara Loch