Summer meeting 1965: Grasmere

HomeEventsSummer meeting 1965: Grasmere

12 September 1965 - 17 September 1965

Meeting report

This meeting was held at Grasmere. All the collecting, except for a short venture into Cumberland (v.-c. 70) on one day, was done in Westmorland (v.-c. 69). The attendance, which fluctuated somewhat from day to day, was small, no more than thirteen members being in the field at any one time.

12 September. The first excursion was by way of Dungeon Ghyll to Stickle Tarn. Marsupella funckii, Oedipodium griffithianum and Lophozia alpestris were found on the way up the path, Cephaloziella pearsonii and Tetraphis browniana grew on the damp rocky sides of the ghyll, Among other bryophytes seen near the ghyll were. Dicranum blyttii and Grimmia doniana (both found frequently during the meeting), Rhacomitrium ellipticum, Barbilophozia atlantica, Anastrepta orcadensis, Frullania tamarisci var. cornubica*, Scapania subalpina* and Solenostoma sphaerocarpum. Scapania scandica* was found on the slopes above the ghyll. On the cliffs of Pavey Ark above Stickle Tarn, a form of Ditrichum heteromallum with a very rough subula. was collected. Also seen on the crags were Oedipodium griffithianum, Nardia compressa, Cololejeunea calcarea and Radula lindbergiana. Gymnomitrion crenulatum and Marsupella ustulata were seen on rocks below Stickle Tarn. Bryum microerythrocarpum was found on an old road in Great Langdale.

[* New v.-c. record throughout. ]

On the return journey some members stopped at Skelwith Bridge to collect Atrichum crispum.

13 September was warm and sunny and the party set out to explore Far Easedale. Barbilophozia barbata was seen in fine condition on a wall near Grasmere, also Pohlia annotina var. decipiens. Hedwigia integrifolia was seen in some quantity on sloping boulders by the path together with Pterogonium gracile and Scapania subalpina. Campylopus subulatus and Pohlia rothii* were found on the track. A small valley bog yielded several species of Sphagnum including S. robustum and S. teres. A walk up the grassy hillside brought the party to large boulders and sheer crags. Very little basic ground was found but the following species were seen: Acrocladium sarmentosum, Archidium alternifolium, Bartramia pomiformis var. elongata, Campylopus subulatus, Dicranella subulata var. curvata, Pohlia polymorpha, P. rothii, Rhabdoweisia crenulata, Tetraplodon mnioides, Barbilophozia atlantica, Cephaloziella starkei and Marsupella aquatica. Grimmia ovalis was seen on a wall in Far Easedale, and on Helm Crag one member found Cynodontium bruntonii and C. jenneri.

14 September. In spite of lowering skies it remained dry, apart from a few showers early on. From the car park at the head of Langdale Valley the party made its way towards Oxendale where Seligeria recurvata was seen on a wall. Bryum ruderale was collected from the edge of the track.

Most members chose to work Brown Gill in preference to Hell Gill or Crinkle Gill. Cephaloziella pearsonii was plentiful and Andreaea alpina was seen at about 600 ft. alt. but at first interesting species were few. However, better ground was found by lunch time. The most noteworthy bryophytes seen in and on the banks of the gill were: Amphidium lapponicum, Anoectangium compactum, Grimmia stricta, Orthothecium intricatum, Rhabdoweisia crenulata, Rhacomitrium ellipticum, Splachnum sphaericum, Tetraphis browniana, Tetraplodon mnioides, Anastrepta orcadensis, Marsupella ustulata, Plectocolea paroica*, Scapania aequiloba and S. aspera. Also noted were Plagiobryum zieri, Pohlia elongata, and Sphagnum quinquefarium.

Some members climbed on to Crinkle Crags and were rewarded by Hygrobiella laxifolia, Marsupella adusta and M. stableri. One member found an unusually large form of Oedipodium griffithianum at about 2500 ft. alt., at the head of Crinkle Gill. Bryum bornholmense* was collected in a field below Side Pike.

15 September was a free day. The weather was the worst of the meeting with rain and low cloud all day. Nevertheless everyone went out and did what they could. Some went to Barrowfield near Kendal and managed to refind Jamesoniella undulifolia in small quantity. Others explored Tom Gill near Tarn Howes; Fontinalis squamosa was found in the stream and Plagiothecium curvifolium in the wood. In the fen and scrub about Blelham Tarn near the north-west shore of Windermere the most interesting things seen were Mnium seligeri, Zygodon conoideus and Pellia neesiana. The northern shore of Grasmere and Hunting Stile and Silver Howe, hills to the west of Grasmere, were visited by the remainder of the party and gave the best finds of the day, including Acrocladium giganteum, Mnium cinclidioides, Cephaloziella hampeana, Jamesoniella autumnalis, Marchantia polymorpha var. aquatica and Ptilidium pulcherrimum.

16 September brought another change in the weather and the journey was made under clearing skies to explore the Duddon Valley at Seathwaite, an area of which little was known. Hedwigia integrifolia was found on rocks in the woodland between the river and the road, Grimmia doniana on the trunk of an ash tree on the river bank. One member who worked the ground on the eastern side of the road found Campylopus introflexus*. A short time was spent on the other side of the river in v.-c. 70 where Cynodontium bruntonii and Pohlia elongata were seen.

After lunch it was decided to visit the sand dunes at Sandscale Haws, near Dalton-in-Funess. Moist dune slacks were hard to find and not very productive. The following species were seen in the area: Amblystegium serpens var. salinum, Brachythecium mildeanum, Campylium chrysophyllum, Climacium dendroides, Tortella inclinata, Cephaloziella hampeana and Lophozia excisa. Bryum warneum, recorded from there in 1961, was not refound and Moerckia flotoviana, another plant recorded at the same time, was only found in very small quantity. Two members who walked along the dunes from Askham-in-Furness found Bryum warneum in plenty, also B. inclinatum, B. pendulum, B. intermedium, and Cephaloziella starkei.

17 September, the last day, started with an unsuccessful search for Habrodon perpusillus, recorded from near the old boathouse at the east end of Rydal Water. The party then attacked Nab Scar. The short but steep route to the summit proved dull and yielded little besides Marsupella funckii and Leptodontium flexifolium. Some members continued over the Nab and found a flush with Drepanocladus vernicosus, Cephaloziella rubella and Leiocolea bantriensis. They then returned to Rydal Water near which they explored an old slate quarry noting the following species: Acrocladium giganteum, Campylopus subulatus, Philonotis capillaris, Sphagnum subsecundum var. subsecundum and Pellia neesiana. Others descended to the low ground beside Rydal Beck. In an area of damp and decaying woodland near the beck Dicranum montanum*, Nowellia curvifolia and Ptilidium pulcherrimum were seen. The woodland above Rydal Hall was then entered. Fissidens celticus* was found on the steep earthy bank of a small ravine. This is a considerable extension of its known range in the southern counties of England and Wales, linked by a recent record in Merioneth. Plectocolea paroica was also found in the ravine. Other species found in the wood were Jamesoniella autumnalis, Plagiochila tridenticulata and Sphenolobus helleranus – the latter in great quantity on a fallen tree trunk. Dicranum montanum was abundant on two trees.

The number of new records made on the meeting was small but this was not surprising in an area which had been so well worked in the past, though few people have collected in Westmorland in recent years. Record cards for the mapping scheme were conscientiously filled in and this made the meeting worth while. All those present would like to thank Mr R. D. Fitzgerald for arranging such a pleasant meeting.

J. Appleyard