The Spring Meeting (5-12 April) was held at Matlock in Derbyshire (v.-c. 57) and was attended by twenty-six people. It was a pleasure to welcome Dr Ilma G. Stone and her husband, from Melbourne, Australia.
5 April. The day was spent exploring Lathkill Dale. The party entered by Haddon Grove and saw Funaria muehlenbergii, Rhytidium rugosum and Ptilidium ciliare in limestone grassland. There was some difficulty in crossing the stream, as it was swollen and flowed through stands of Petasites, which nodded forlornly in the flood. Those who walked round the head of the valley to reach the opposite bank were rewarded with a number of characteristic calcicoles, including Isopterygium pulchellum, Orthothecium intricatum, Plagiopus oederi, Seligeria pusilla, S. recurvata, Metzgeria pubescens, Porella cordaeana, Reboulia hemisphaerica and Tritomaria quinquedentata. Lower down, below Haddon village, several other plants were seen: Amblystegiella confervoides, Cololejeunea rossettiana and Leiocolea muelleri.
6 April. Heavy rain attended our arrival on the gritstone uplands near Chesterfield. Hipper Sick contained a small bog with Cladopodiella fluitans* (among Sphagnum papillosum) and Mylia anomala. Other habitats downstream produced Acrocladium stramineum, Atrichum crispum, Nardia compressa and Solenostoma sphaerocarpum. In the afternoon the party split up and one group went to Oak Hurst near Ambergate, recording Trichostomum tenuirostre, Metzgeria conjugata and Plectocolea hyalina* (on gritstone rocks by a stream).
[* New vice-county record]
In the evening a council meeting was held at the Temple Hotel, Matlock.
7 April. The Saturday excursion was to the Hoptonwood limestone quarries and the Via Gellia. Epiphytes were more plentiful in this area than elsewhere, presumably because the bark is sweetened by fall-out of limestone dust. Orthotrichum affine, O. striatum, Zygodon viridissimus and Frullania dilatata were seen on elder and ash. In terrestrial habitats grew Barbula acuta, Brachythecium mildeanum, Campylium calcareum, Rhodobryum roseum, Leiocolea muelleri and Reboulia hemisphaerica.
8 April. This was the free day, and most of the party went to Dove Dale. Finds were similar to those in Lathkill Dale, and there were a number of others: Amblystegium compactum, Mnium marginatum, Pottia bryoides, Rhynchostegiella teesdalei, Seligeria acutifolia var. longiseta, S. doniana, Marchesinia mackaii, Nowellia curvifolia and Ptilidium pulcherrimum. A small contingent examined a disused lead mine near Sheldon, recording Thuidium delicatulum*.
9 April. The day’s excursion was to Ticknall Limeyards, an area of old limeworkings south of Derby. Several calcicoles were seen, including Gyroweisia tenuis c.fr., Pottia lanceolata, Thuidium philibertii and Tortula marginata* (on a sandstone lump). One party then went to Carver’s Rocks and found Amblystegium varium, Hypnum lindbergii and Plagiothecium latebricola.
10 April. The final outing was to the Highlow Brook near Hathersage, a steep-sided valley on base-rich sandstone. Tetraphis browniana and Solenostoma pumilum were noted on a sheltered overhang in the valley. Weissia microstoma var. brachycarpa, Calypogeia muellerana c.fr. and Lophozia bicrenata grew elsewhere near Stoke Ford; also Mnium pseudopunctatum, Seligeria recurvata and Pellia neesiana in places up Bretton Clough.
In an area which had been well worked by W. R. Linton at the turn of the century, we could hardly expect to make many new records. Nevertheless it was agreeable to confirm so many of the old localities after 70 years. The epiphyte flora is still restricted by air pollution, leaving Aulacomnium androgynum, Bryum capillare, Ceratodon purpureus, Dicranoweisia cirrata, Dicranum strictum, Hypnum cupressiforme, Orthodontium lineare and Tetraphis pellucida as the principal survivors. Of these, Dicranum strictum appears to have spread considerably in the past few years: it was unknown to Linton, yet we saw it in profusion in most of the localities we visited. Mrs M. Gow organized the excursions and told us many facts of local interest. We are very grateful to her for an interesting and enjoyable week.
M. O. Hill