Note: the dates for this meeting are approximate as there appears to be no record of the actual meeting dates.
No centre better than Buxton could have been chosen for exploring the limestone and gritstone country of Derbyshire and no Excursion Secretaries more diligent than Messrs R. H. Hall and F. A. Sowter could have been wished for. Those who assembled at the Brunswick Hotel at the beginning of April have memories of a very pleasant week’s meeting.
The first excursion was to the edge of the Kinder Plateau by way of Edale and Grinds Brook. Unfortunately the weather was atrocious and hardly conducive to careful bryology. Amongst the few interesting plants seen, Oligotrichum hercynicum, Lophozia floerkii and Alicularia scalaris var. procerior may be mentioned. On the following day, reinforced by several more arrivals, members walked from the head of Ricklow Dale down into Lathkill Dale, a most pleasant and fruitful day in contrast to the preceding one. The limestone rocks at the head of Ricklow Dale bore a rich flora of rupestral bryophytes, amongst which Tortula muralis var. rupestris, Trichostomum brachydontium var. cophocarpum and the calcicolous Scapania aspera were noted. Lower in Ricklow Dale and in Lathkill Dale were seen Pottia recta, P. bryoides, P. lanceolata, Weisia controversa, Funaria calcarea, Orthodontium gracile var. heterocarpum, Plagiobryum zierii, Bryum roseum. Mnium stellare and Neckera crispa var. falcata. Amongst the liverworts members saw Lophozia quinquedentata, Scapania aequiloba and the two remarkable little calcicolous hepatics Cololejeunea calcarea and C. Rossettiana the latter recorded for the first time from Lathkill Dale. Near Over Haddon a curious attenuated form of Porotrichum alopecurum was found submerged in a spring issuing from the limestone, but most notable of all, perhaps. was the re-finding of the beautiful Fontinalis antipyretica var. cymbifolia in a disused mill-stream, in which the water was hardly moving. Although recorded here some years previously, the precise locality of this latter plant had been lost and it had not been hitherto re-established.
Continuing the exploration of the limestone country, the next day was spent in Dovedale below the Viator’s Bridge. Many of the limestone bryophytes were here seen in fine condition. Targionia hypophylla was detected at the foot of a limestone cliff, surrounded by a fine display of Hutchinsia petraea In the Dove Holes, Eurhynchium Teesdalei was collected. Amblystegium compactum was also admired there, but not collected, as it was in extremely small quantity. Nearby were Bartramia Oederi and Metzgeria pubescens. Fissidens pusillus, Phascum cuspidatum. Orthotrichum cupulatum var. nudum, Eurhynchium pumilum and Cololejeunea calcarea were also seen in the Dale.
The following day saw a return to the gritstone. Under threatening storm clouds members worked up Ashop Clough from the Snake Inn to the edge of the Kinder Plateau. A lax form of Oligotrichum hercynicum was observed in a tunnel by the path and Hypnum ochraceum occurred fairly abundantly on rocks in the streams. Hypnum fluitans and Scapania undulata were seen in fruit. Amongst mosses on the peat were Dicranella cerviculata and Orthodontium gracile var. heterocarpum , the latter in such abundance that it was difficult to realise that it was once a rare plant. Miss Duncan was able to record several interesting Sphagna, amongst which Sphagnum squarrosum var. subsquarrosum and S. subsecundum var. intermedium were new to V.C. 57. Amongst other mosses seen were Webera carnea, Hyocomium flagellare and Hypnum stramineum , and amongst hepatics, Alicularia compressa, A. scalaris var. distans (new to V.C. 57) and Aplozia riparia .
The next day, being Sunday, was one of private excursions. In the morning Amblystegium filicinum var. trichodes was seen near Buxton. After lunch a small party visited Cressbrook Dale, to make what was almost a pilgrimage to the locus classicus of Porotrichum angustifolium . This curious plant was found in fine condition and quite distinct from the surrounding Porotrichum alopecurum . Nearby were Weisia calcarea and Amblystegium Sprucei , and in the crevices of rocks Seligeria Doniana and S. acutifolia var. longiseta . At the entrance of this Dale Dicranum montanum was detected on the roots of an ash, a new record for V.C. 57.
The final excursion was to Monks Dale. Once again there was the rich assemblage of calcicolous species. A bank of damp calcareous tufa yielded fine material of Amblystegium Sprucei and Weisia calcarea. Other mosses seen included Seligeria acutifolia var. longiseta, Fissidens crassipes, Barbula revoluta, Leptodontium flexifolium Weisia tortilis and Hypnum uncinatum. Seligeria tristicha has been recorded for this Dale, but it was not refound.
On the following day the meeting ended and members left the inhabitants of Buxton marvelling at their eccentricities, while they dispersed after a most profitable and enjoyable week.
P. R. Bell