Summer meeting 1967: Northallerton, Yorkshire

HomeEventsSummer meeting 1967: Northallerton, Yorkshire

2 September 1967 - 9 September 1967

Meeting report

The Summer Meeting of the Society from 2 to 9 September was based on Northallerton for the purpose of working the Cleveland Hills and part of the Vale of York in north-east Yorkshire (v.-c. 62). This is an area which had not been well worked in recent years; there were many old records to be refound and 10 km. grid squares to be mapped. Except for one day the weather remained favourable and no expedition had to be completely abandoned. Numbers fluctuated but there was an average attendance of 14 members each day.

3 September was spent at Gormire, Garbutt Wood, Sutton Bank, and below Roulston Scar on the edge of the Cleveland escarpment. The lake at Little Gormire was very overgrown but Dicranum strictum* was found on a fallen tree; it also turned up in the Rievaulx area and in Thimbleby Park later in the week, evidence that although new to v.-c. 62 it appears fairly widespread. Mnium rugicum* was found near the lake margin and Ricciocarpus natans was present in abundance floating on both lakes. Climbing up through Garbutt Wood to the scars of Whitestonecliff, Gyroweisia tenuis and Seligeria recurvata were seen fruiting abundantly. On the way down Sutton Bank Lophozia bicrenata, L. excisa, Fissidens cristatus, Neckera crispa, Gymnostomum aeruginosum and Campylium protensum were among the species noticed on the calcareous grit. The forest ride along the base of Roulston Scar proved a rich hunting ground; Pottia davalliana, Fossombronia pusilla, Cephaloziella hampeana and C. rubella were noted and on the block scree above the path Scapania aspera* and Plagiothecium curvifolium* provided useful records. In a nearby stubble field Bryum rubens and B. klinggraeffii grew, the latter species also being found at Pilmoor; Thornton-le-Beans; Felixkirk; Ashberry Hill, Rievaulx, and Oldstead in v.-c. 62 and at Little Langton Grange in v.-c. 65, during the course of the meeting.

[* new v.-c. record]

4 September. Greenhow Moor, the only known English station of Mielichhoferia elongata (see p. 598), was the objective and the plant was found in two places growing on crumbling lias in steep gullies. The original record is attributed to W. Mudd in 1862; it was refound in 1910 and then not again until Mrs Appleyard rediscovered it in 1954. Coscinodon cribrosus* growing with the Mielichhoferia, and Dicranella subulata* were both new records, the latter also being found in West Arncliff Woods. Riccardia palmata*, Discelium nudum and Solenostoma sphaerocarpum were also noted whilst Bryum violaceum* and B. micro-erythrocarpum were in a nearby stubble field. Other records made on this day were Pellia neesiana*, Scapania scandica* and Distichium inclinatum*, all from Spaunton Moor, and Cladopodiella fransisci from near Hutton-le-Hole.

5 September. Pilmoor, visited in the morning, is almost the last area of lowland heath to be found in the Vale of York, although it appears to be drying out and is now largely birch and willow carr. The old brickwork ponds are silting up and vegetation is encroaching on the open water. Dicranum polysetum* and D. spurium*, the latter previously recorded for the vice-county from Strensall Common by W. Ingham but destroyed by drainage in 1912, were both found. Odontoschisma denudatum*, O. sphagni, Drepanocladus exannulatus, D. fluitans, and Acrocladium cordifolium were also present. The overgrown disused railway siding yielded the best find when Mrs Paton discovered Fossombronia incurva*, new to England. Fossombronia wondraczekii, Pellia neesiana, Cephaloziella hampeana, Amblystegium varium and Bryum ruderale* were all noted in this area. Despite the deterioration in the weather, Leckby Carr in v.-c. 65 was visited but proved to be an almost impenetrable jungle of overgrown carr, Riccardia sinuata*, however, was found on the bank of a nearby ditch. During the evening the rain stopped and a small party visited the river Swale near Little Langton Grange in v.-c. 65 where Anthoceros punctatus* and Physcomitrella patens* were both recorded.

6 September. The party divided, one group going to Arncliff Woods in the Esk valley, and the other to Kepwick Hall grounds and the moorland above. The former group confirmed some old records; for example, Harpanthus scutatus* in the West Wood, which was previously recorded by R. Spruce in 1847 from the same area, Hygrobiella laxifolia* which had not been seen in the vice-county since 1878, and Plectocolea paroica* confirming an old record of W. Ingham in 1901 from the same locality. Other interesting species found included Lejeunea cavifolia*, Calypogeia neesiana var. meylanii*, Scapania umbrosa, Radula complanata, Plectocolea obovata, Solenostoma pumilum and Tritomaria exsectiformis. Kepwick Hall grounds and the moorland above where there were a number of old quarry workings and an old railway embankment provided a variety of habitats. Species found included Leiocolea turbinata, L. badensis, L, muelleri, Scapania aspera and Campylium protensum from basic flushes and turf, Entodon concinnus and Frullania tamarisci from one of the quarries, Riccardia sinuata and Aloina ambigua from the old railway embankment, Amblystegium juratzkanum from the Hall grounds and Mylia anomala, Drepanocladus fluitans and nine species of Sphagnum from the moorland. These included S. tenellum and S. robustum, the latter being found also on Greenhow Moor, Thimbleby Hall grounds and at Scarth bog, Osmotherley.

7 September. Ashberry Hill near Rievaulx produced an interesting collection of calcicoles including Campylium calcareum, Fissidens minutulus var. tenuifolius, F. cristatus, and Isopterygium depressum whilst Cratoneuron commutatum var. virescens and Philonotis calcarea were seen in a marshy meadow nearby. During the afternoon a party visited Tup Hag Wood, where Hygroamblystegium fluviatile in the river and Isopterygium seligeri* on a log were the most notable finds. Other members of the party visited Longacres Hill near Hawnby, where a number of calcicoles were found on west-facing scree, and Blow Gill, where the most notable records were Hygrobiella laxifolia, Plectocolea hyalina, Tetraphis browniana, Scapania umbrosa and Dichodontium pellucidum

8 September. The last day was spent in the Osmotherley area. In the morning the wooded valley in Thimbleby Park leading up to Oakdale reservoir was visited. Tritomaria exsectiformis, Riccardia palmata on an old conifer stump, Preissia quadrata, Plectocolea paroica, Trichocolea tomentella, Scapania irrigua, Pellia neesiana and Dicranum strictum were useful records from here. Bryum bornholmense* on the earthy roots of fallen birch, and B. inclinatum and B. caespiticum on walls were additional records. Fossombronia pusilla was found when crossing the fields back to the cars. In the afternoon Scarth Bog, an area of moorland owned by the National Trust two miles north of Osmotherley, was visited. Here Lophozia ventricosa var. silvicola*, Ephemerum serratum var. serratum, Splachnum ampullaceum, Mylia anomala, Cephalozia connivens and eight species of Sphagnum were found. One party visited Scugdale, where Discelium nudum, Tetraphis browniana, Barbula tophacea and Nardia compressa were seen. Other visits were made to arable fields at East Rounton where Acaulon muticum, Phascum floerkeanum, Dicranella schreberana and Pseudephemerum nitidum were noted, and to Mount Grace Priory where Bryum ruderale, Tortula marginata and Hygroamblystegium tenax were recorded.

Records were made in thirteen 10 km. grid squares, of which two had over 200 species and four others had over 100. In addition to Fossombronia incurva , new to England, 8 new hepatic vice-county records were made and 5 old records were confirmed, whilst among the mosses there were 10 new vice-county records and 4 old records confirmed.

My thanks are due to all those who helped to make the meeting a success, both by their hard work in the field, their contribution of records and their unfailing helpfulness and cheerfulness at all times

Mary Dalby


Northallerton, Yorkshire