Spring meeting 1971: Dulverton, Somerset

HomeEventsSpring meeting 1971: Dulverton, Somerset

31 March 1971 - 7 April 1971

Meeting report

The Annual Meeting (31 March to 7 April) was held at Dulverton in Somerset, and excursions were made to Exmoor (v.-c. 4 and 5) and the surrounding area. The district was already quite well known bryologically and unexpected finds were few. Thirty-one members attended the meeting.

1 April. The first excursion was to Hartford Bottom (v.-c. 5), a river valley with steep wooded sides and acid soils. There was a stag hunt, and bryologists kept on meeting horsemen and deer running in many directions. Plant finds included Fissidens celticus, Orthotrichum rivulare, Plagiothecium curvifolium* (on a rotten tree stump) and Porella pinnata . In the afternoon several members went up on to Haddon Hill and found Leptodontium flexifolium, Cephaloziella subdentata, Lepidozia trichoclados* (on a vertical peat bank), Odontoschisma denudatum and Riccia warnstorfii.

[* New vice-county record.]

2 April. First stop was the landslip at Blue Anchor on the Somerset coast (v.-c. 5). Bryum capillare var. torquescens and Leiocolea badensis were observed. Then many people went to see Targionia hypophylla which was growing copiously on a railway bank at Sampford Brett together with Bryum donianum c.fr., Eurhynchium megapolitanum and Cephaloziella stellulifera*. For the remainder of the day members explored the valley of Eastern Wood in the Brendon Hills, recording Cynodontium bruntonii, Fissidens curnowii, F. rivularis, Tortula muralis var. aestiva* and Jubula hutchinsiae.

3 April. The main Saturday excursion was to another wooded valley above Tarr Steps on the River Barle (v.-c. 5). On some shaded rocks were Cynodontium bruntonii, Rhabdoweisia fugax. Barbilophozia attenuata* (found also on a fallen log ) and Bazzania trilobata . Other habitats produced Fissidens celticus, Isothecium holtii*, Diplophyllum obtusifolium, Porella pinnata, Ptilidium pulcherrimum, Scapania subalpina* (on an earthy river bank) and S. umbrosa . In the afternoon the party split up and one group found Lepidozia sylvatica* on a heathy cliff-top slope on North Hill near Minehead.

The Annual General Meeting was held at 8.30 p.m.

4 April. This was the free day and many members went to Challacombe Reservoir and the valley below it (v.-c. 4). Dicranella staphylina* was growing in a newly sown pasture and Eurhynchium alopecuroides* on stones in the stream. Cephaloziella rubella*. Diplophyllum obtusifolium and Lophozia bicrenata* were on heathy banks near the reservoir, and Philonotis caespitosa and Scapania umbrosa nearby. Then members dispersed, and the weather, dull throughout most of the meeting, developed into a steady drizzle. Weissia controversa var. densifolia was found at Hunter’s Inn near Martinhoe (v.-c. 4) and Bryum pseudotriquetrum var. bimum* on marshy ground in Madacombe (v.-c. 5). Meanwhile another party had visited Torrs Park, west of Ilfracombe (v.-c. 4), recording Pohlia lutescens* on soil on a bank; also Grimmia subsquarrosa and Tortula cuneifolia at Mortehoe.

5 April. A full day was spent exploring the steep, north-facing Embelle Wood, which runs down to the sea between Lynton and Porlock (v.-c. 5). Deep gulleys yielded Fissidens rivularis, Lophocolea fragrans and Marchesinia mackaii* (on sandstone rock), while Rhynchostegiella teesdalei, Tortella nitida and Frullania microphylla* were seen on rocks near the shore. Other finds included Bryum sauteri, Eurhynchium speciosum, Fissidens celticus, Pohlia lutescens* (on soil on a wall), Solenostoma triste and Tritomaria quinquedentata.

6 April. A reduced contingent worked the steep and rocky valley of Hoaroak Water above Watersmeet (v.-c. 4). This was the only place where Hylocomium brevirostre was seen on the meeting, and several plants of humid places were found, including Philonotis fontana var. tomentella*, Blepharostoma trichophyllum, Dumortiera hirsuta, Lejeunea patens* (on rock) and Scapania subalpina* (on silt on rocks). Then the party moved to Malmsmead, where the East Lyn River runs along the Devon-Somerset boundary (v.-c. 4 and 5). The main attraction was Bryum gemmiparum growing on flat rocks all along the river. Other plants seen were Atrichum crispum* (on the river bank. v.-c. 5). Campylopus subulatus* (v.-c. 4). Grimmia laevigata. G. subsquarrosa, Pohlia lutescens, Rhabdoweisia fugax and Scapania subalpina.

Though the meeting brought few surprises, it was in a beautiful part of the country. Widespread western species such as Metzgeria conjugata and Nowellia curvifolia were seen repeatedly, but habitats for more strongly oceanic plants were few. Fissidens rivularis was unexpectedly frequent, being found in five separate localities. The meeting was enjoyed by all and once again our thanks must go to Mrs Appleyard for devoting much time and trouble to the arrangements.

M. O. Hill



Dulverton, Somerset