Five of us met up with the owner of Bwlch Y Maen fields and started recording along the western edge of the north facing pasture Lots of species’ characteristic of acidic habitat were recorded, but also Ctenidium molluscum was found. Plagiochila porelloides was growing along the banks of the stream and small fruiting cushions of Ptychomitrium polyphyllum were found on a large quartz boulder.
Lunch was eaten sitting on an outcrop of rock in the sunshine, looking at the view with the peaks of the Carneddau in the far distance.
After recording Polytrichum piliferum and P. juniperinum on the luncheon rock, the group moved over to some large mature ash trees with Eurhynchium striatum and Homalothecium sericeum. A small sample of mud from a nearby ditch yielded some Fossombronia, and Scapania nemorea. Some ancient woodland further to the east yielded large amounts of Isothecium alopecuroides. The star of the day consisted of copious mats of Orthocaulis attenuatus growing on some old cut tree stumps.
The day ended with a minor drama when the group found that the barriers on every road out of the forest had, most unexpectedly, been locked during the day, presumably by assiduous NRW employees. The landowner’s key proved ineffective at the main barrier but after several false starts, much reversing and considerable nail biting a way out was found to considerable sighs of relief all round!
Many thanks to the landowner at Bwlch Y Maen for granting us access for another most enjoyable day in the field.
Philippa Thompson, 12 October 2022