Newhailes Estate lies near the Firth of Forth on the eastern edge of Edinburgh. Now administered by the National Trust for Scotland, Newhailes House, the former home of the Dalrymple family, stands in 80 acres of woodlands and fields. Our President, who joined us on this outing, had recorded bryophytes here for a Bioblitz in 2015. Access to the old walled garden in front of the House was arranged for today through the ranger service.
Our group of seven first looked at some common species growing on and around the former Stables, now the visitor centre and cafe. Newhailes House and its old walled garden then proved productive, with much Rhynchostegiella tenella and a small patch of Hypnum resupinatum on the garden wall, and Dicroweisia cirrata growing on the rotting wood of the external bannisters. We just about managed to avoid standing on the snowdrops.
Despite visiting some mature woodlands, an arable field, and a small burn, the afternoon’s bryophytes were slightly disappointing, perhaps due to a combination of trampling by dogs (we had to make way for an army of pugs and their owners), smothering ivy cover, lack of humidity, and air pollution. However, near the burn Liz collected Microeurhyncium pumilum, a species previously found here by David Chamberlain, and Bryum subapiculatum and B. rubens in the field. We also added Dicranum tauricum and Rhynchostegium confertum, among others, to Liz’s 2015 list, so that around 70 species have now been recorded at Newhailes from these two visits.
Thanks to Elliot Williamson, NTS ranger, for arranging access to the walled garden of Newhailes House.
David Adamson, January 2023Download a list of species recorded