Lothians Group: Bonaly area

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26 March 2022 (10:30 - 16:30)

Meeting report

Dean Burn & Bonaly Reservoir area
26 March 2022 10:15 – 16:40
Leader: David Adamson

Despite the mild Spring sunshine the “Group” on this outing consisted of only Vladimir Krivtsov and myself. Sometimes quality is more important than quantity, and Vladimir’s wide knowledge ensured that some of my wilder identifications were not accepted without some evidence. Between us we found some 70-80 species but the many differing Sphagnum species, S paluste excepted, will have to wait for a better bryologist than me for correct identification.

We entered the shallow gorge of the infant Dean Burn by the wooden stile at the side of the main path to Bonaly Reservoir. This is an easy entry point and avoids the gorse thickets lower down. There are a number of large boulders covered in bryophytes, each with its own community. One had a good mat of Hedgwigia stellata, while others were cloaked in Racomitrium, Hypnum, and Plagiochila species. On the rocky sides of the gorge were Bartramia pomiformis with its globular capsules and a dark brown colony of Frullania tamarisci.

Above the small waterfall the gorge is replaced by an open watercourse. In a base-rich flush were Campylium stellatum, Plagiochila asplenioides, and Fissidens adianthoides. Our list was augmented by epiphytic mosses on alder, including at least 3 Ulota species.

The reservoir shoreline appears to have remained unchanged so that there was no newly exposed mud despite the recent dry spell. Instead, we found lots of Bryum pseudotriquetrum, Climacium dendroides and a small patch of Archidium alternifolium.  After being baffled by Sphagnum in the moorland above the reservoir we ended the outing by following its outflow channel, my highlight being some stunning tufts of Bryum pallens.

David Adamson, April 2022

Meeting details

Meet at 10:30 at the upper Bonaly car park, NT21139 67478. This is a 10 minute walk from the terminus of Lothian bus number 10 (destination Bonaly, NOT Torduff).

Due to the nature of the terrain this field trip involves leaving paths and walking on uneven ground in the narrow gorge of the Dean Burn; also occasional scrambling. Please note that the path into the hills is steep. Therefore please do not attend unless prepared for such conditions. You will require footwear that gives you a good grip, a packed lunch, and a hand lens.

The aim is to explore the upper part of the Dean Burn, visit Phantom’s Cleuch, and possibly go round Bonaly reservoir.

Please email David Adamson no later than 24 March if you wish to attend or have any questions. His email address is: davidadamson32@gmail.com