Summer meeting 1969: Sedbergh

HomeEventsSummer meeting 1969: Sedbergh

23 August 1969 - 30 August 1969

Meeting report

The summer meeting was held at Sedbergh, Yorkshire, from 23 to 30 August for the purpose of working N.W. Yorkshire (v.-c. 65) and the eastern part of Westmorland (v.-c. 69). Although the area has been well worked in the past, and few new vice-county records could be expected, especially for Westmorland, there were many old records to be refound and in addition very little mapping had been previously carried out in the region. The thirty-four members who attended for all or part of the meeting were rewarded by magnificent weather on all but one day.

24 August. The morning was spent in the vicinity of Sunbiggin Tarn, v.-c. 69. In the highly calcareous mires and springs around the tarn grew Cinclidium stygium in abundance, Gymnostomum calcareum, Mnium pseudopunctatum, M. seligeri, M. affine, Drepanocladus revolvens var. intermedius, Moerckia flotoviana and Leiocolea badensis*. Nearby acid moorland yielded Polytrichum alpestre, Campylopus introflexus and C. brevipilus. Some members investigated Tarn Sike west of Sunbiggin Tarn. Here calcareous flushes containing Leiocolea bantriensis, L. muelleri, Acrocladium sarmentosum, Orthothecium rufescens, Splachnum ampullaceum and Amblyodon dealbatus, with Bryum alpinum and Grimmia stricta on stones, form a network amidst oligotrophic peat hummocks supporting species of undisturbed blanket bog, the most notable of which were Sphagnum fuscum and Cephalozia loitlesbergeri c.per.

[* new vice-county record]

In the afternoon, Crosby Gill (v.-c. 69), a wooded valley cutting through Yoredale limestone, was visited. Interesting species found in and around the stream were Barbula spadicea, Mnium stellare, Neckera crispa, Hygrohypnum eugyrium, Hypnum lindbergii, Plagiochila spinulosa, Barbilophozia atlantica, Lejeunea lamacerina var. azorica and Cololejeunea calcarea. The woods were rich in corticolous species and Dicranum montanum, Ulota drummondii*, Tortula intermedia, Orthotrichum striatum, Nowellia curvifolia and Riccardia palmata were recorded. Several members called at Orton Scar but failed to refind Trichostomum crispulum var. nigroviride.

25 August. In brilliant sunshine members split up into several parties to explore Whernside but none were successful in refinding Aulacomnium turgidum and the presence of this species there today, far outside its normal British range, should now be regarded as very doubtful. One party, ascending the hill from the west (v.-c. 64), found Bryum capillare var. elegans, Splachnum sphaericum and Calypogeia trichomanis on the blanket bogs and peat hags overlying the millstone grit which forms the summit cap of the hill. Greensett Crags (v.-c. 64), the highest limestone outcrops, on the eastern slopes, were a richer hunting ground and interesting plants seen here included Encalypta rhabdocarpa, Trichostomum crispulum var. nigroviride*, Grimmia trichodon, Barbula ferruginascens, Seligeria doniana, S. pusilla, S. trifaria, Tortula subulata var. graeffii, Mnium orthorhynchum, Barbilophozia barbata and Riccia sorocarpa.

Another party explored Great Blake Beck Gill (v.-c. 65) on the eastern side of Whernside. The best finds here were Sphagnum teres, Dicranella crispa, Tetraphis browniana, Bryum klinggraeffii, Ulota phyllantha*, Plectocolea hyalina, Solenostoma sphaerocarpum, Scapania scandica and Lophozia obtusa. Those who visited Upper Deepdale and Blea Gill (v.-c. 65) were rewarded with Sphagnum girgensohnii, S. fimbriatum, Dicranodontium denudatum* and Tetraplodon mnioides on the blanket bog, and Sphagnum robustum, Plagiobryum zierii, Eucladium verticillatum, Orthotrichum rupestre and Plagiochila spinulosa in the gill itself.

Rhynchostegiella teesdalei, Barbula spadicea and Fissidens rufulus were found at the bottom of Deepdale (v.-c. 65) and Leskea polycarpa, Orthotrichum lyellii and Tortula subulata var. subinermis* by the river at Corn Close near Sedbergh (v.-c. 65). There are old Dentdale records for Habrodon perpusillus and Leucodon sciuroides, but neither of these plants was seen during the meeting and it is possible that they are now extinct.

26 August. The gills cutting through Yoredale limestone, shales and sandstones on the Mallerstang area (v.-c.s 65 and 69) were visited. The richest of these proved to be Aisgill (v.-c. 69) where the most outstanding find was Leiocolea heterocolpos*. Other interesting species were Pohlia elongata, Bartramia hallerana, Plagiopus oederi, M. marginatum, Breutelia chrysocoma, Seligeria acutifolia var. longiseta, Tetraphis browniana, Tortula subulata var. graeffii, Orthothecium intricatum, Isothecium holtii, Plectocolea paroica, Saccogyna viticulosa and Solenostoma sphaerocarpum, whilst clay banks above the gill yielded Dicranella rufescens, D. crispa, Discelium nudum and Blasia pusilla.

At Hell Gill, the River Eden, demarcating the boundary between v.-c.s 65 and 69, descends through a spectacular vertical-sided gorge only a few feet across, whose walls were covered by almost pure carpets of Seligeria trifaria. Washer Gill nearby (v.-c. 65) yielded Porella cordaeana, Neckera crispa and Mnium stellare. A separate party explored the valley of the R. Rawthey above Uldale House (v.-c. 65) and recorded Philonotis caespitosa *, Lepidozia trichoclados and Sphenolobus minutus*. Hypnum imponens was seen on Pudding Howe Hill (v.-c. 69).

Several members also looked at the R. Rawthey in Wandale (v.-c. 65), where Fissidens rufulus, Seligeria recurvata, Hygrohypnum eugyrium, Lophozia excisa*, Solenostoma sphaerocarpum and Marchantia polymorpha var. alpestris* (v-c.s 65 and 69) were noted. Woodland over the river in v.-c. 69 yielded Hypnum cupressiforme var. mamillatum, Fissidens celticus, Plagiothecium laetum and Lejeunea ulicina.

27 August. Again in clear, sunny weather members ventured farther afield into the Lake District (v.-c. 69). One party explored the Naddle Forest to the east of Haweswater. Although many of the Atlantic species recorded from here were not seen, finds included Dicranum montanum, Cynodontium bruntonii, Orthotrichum tenellum, Hylocomium brevirostre, Sphagnum contortum, S. teres, Barbilophozia atlantica, Bazzania trilobata and Hygrobiella laxifolia.

Other members ascended High Street seeing Pterogonium gracile on rocks by Small Water on the way. The cliffs above Nan Bield yielded Andreaea alpina, Pohlia elongata, Bryum inclinatum, B. alpinum var. viride, Rhabdoweisia crenulata, Bartramia pomiformis var. crispa, Grimmia doniana, G. torquata, G. patens, Dicranum blyttii, Acrocladium sarmentosum, Plagiothecium denticulatum var. obtustfolium*, Gymnomitrion obtusum, Marsupella adusta and M. ustulata. Slightly more basic rocks were found on Mardale Ill Bell and Long Stile and additional species here included Amphidium lapponicum, Arctoa fulvella, Bryum capillare var. elegans, Grimmia funalis, Oedipodium griffithianum, Pohlia ludwigii, Rhacomitrium ellipticum, Trichostomum tenuirostre, Cephaloziella pearsonii, Gymnomitrion crenulatum, G. concinnatum, Marsupella alpina and Radula aquilegia. Archidium alternifolium, Bryum micro-erythrocarpum, Ditrichum cylindricum and Pellia neesiana were noted on the shores of Haweswater.

28 August was spent in the vicinity of Cautley Spout (v.-c. 65). Although well known bryologically, several new records were made for the area and many old ones confirmed. The bogs and wet pastures below the spout were rich in Sphagna and fifteen species, including S. girgensohnii, S. teres, S. warnstorfianum and S. contortum, were recorded. The environs of the spout were a rich hunting ground, where members saw Seligeria recurvata, Brachydontium trichodes, Rhabdoweisia fugax, R. denticulata, Bartramia ithyphylla, Funaria obtusa, Oedipodium griffithianum, Fontinalis antipyretica var. gracilis, Hygroamblystegium tenax, Drepanocladus revolvens var. intermedius, D. vernicosus, Radula lindbergiana and Frullania fragilifolia. From the rocks and flushes above the spout Bryum weigelii, Acrocladium sarmentosum, Solenostoma cordifolium, Chiloscyphus pallescens, Calypogeia trichomanis and Pellia neesiana were recorded. Additional species seen on Cautley Crag itself included Grimmia doniana, Amphidium lapponicum, Trichostomum tenuirostre, Tortella densa, Marsupella ustulata, Barbilophozia barbata, Lepidozia pearsonii and Anastrepra orcadensis.

29 August. The last day was spent in Upper Swaledale, an area little known bryologically. In the Rigg Beck Ravine (v.-c. 69) interesting species noted were Discelium nudum, Trichostomum brachydontium var. cophocarpum, Mnium orthorhynchum, Entodon concinnus and Thuidium philibertii. Bryum pallescens and Weissia controversa var. densifolia were seen on lead mine waste by the R. Swale (v.-c. 65) and Barbula trifaria, B. vinealis, Campylium calcareum, Zygodon viridissimus and Frullania fragilifolia at Kisdon Force.

Another party spent the day in Fossdale (v.-c. 65) and recorded Seligeria trifaria, Eucladium verticillatum, Barbilophozia barbata, Calypogeia trichomanis, Plectocolea hyalina, Ptilidium pulcherrimum and Pedinophyllum interruptum. Members who called at Twistleton Glen, Ingleton (v.-c. 64); to see Homomallium incurvatum also recorded Hypnum callichroum*.

Although the number of new vice-county records made on the meeting was rather small, many old records were confirmed and the lists made in twelve 10 km. grid squares were a valuable contribution to the mapping scheme. Grateful thanks are due to the land-owners who freely gave us permission to visit their properties, and to the many members who sent in mapping cards and lists of their finds.

Jeffrey G. Duckett
Mary Dalby