The National Trust Estate at Alderley Edge is a fascinating site in many ways but is best known for its SSSI Geology features along with Bronze age and Roman mining activity. PlantLife call it an Important Plant Area (IPA) for the bryophytes and give the following site description:
‘The whole woodland is riddled with old mine workings and relics of by-gone times. The site is an escarpment formed partly by the weathering of resistant red sandstone, which lies on top of a softer sandstone, and partly by faulting of the rocks. The geology (e.g. exposed, vertical acidic sand rock face) and environmental conditions (e.g. damp, shade/dappled shade) make it ideal for rare and endangered bryophytes.’
Following a survey by Des Thompson in 2015 he reported ‘The site is of national importance for its bryophyte assemblage, in particular Cephaloziella massalongi, a globally rare liverwort confined to substrates that are rich in heavy metals’. See a video of the site: http://www.bryophytesurveys.co.uk/globally-rare-liverwort-discovered-at-alderley-edge-cheshire/ The north rock face of the Edge in one part is covered with liverworts and there is Sphagnum in the wet flushes. Goblins Gold (Schistostega pennata) will no doubt draw us into some dark corners.
Please contact Simon Caporn email@example.com to register an interest and for further details.