Summer meeting 1971: Peebles

HomeEventsSummer meeting 1971: Peebles

28 August 1971 - 3 September 1971

Meeting report

The summer field meeting (28 August to 3 September), based on Peebles, offered about a dozen members an opportunity to explore a bryologically little-known part of the borders and to suffer intermittent soakings. During the meeting Dumfries (v.-c. 72), Peebles (v.-c. 78), Selkirk (v.-c. 79) and Midlothian (v.-c. 83) were visited.

29 August, which was entirely spent in v.-c. 78, started in slight drizzle with a visit to the steep-sided valley of the Lyne Water above West Linton where records included Hypnum cupressiforme var. filiforme* and Dicranum strictum* as epiphytes, Marchantia polymorpha var. alpestris* and Hygroamblystegium fluviatile on rocks by the river, Eurhynchium praelongum var. stokesii* on a steep bank, Plagiothecium laetum* on the roots of a sapling, Metzgeria pubescens and Mnium stellare on the Brecchia rock faces by the river and Ditrichum cylindricum*, Barbula trifaria*, Pohlia delicatula* and P. lutescens* on disturbed clay soil near the river just above West Linton. After lunch a distinctly damp tramp across White Moss, a partially drained raised bog, was rewarded by Sphagnum fimbriatum*, Riccardia latifrons*, Cephaloziella hampeana*, C. starkei* and Calypogeia muellerana*. Respects were paid to Camptothecium nitens, growing in some abundance in a mire at the bottom end of an apparently undistinguished field at Medwyn Mains. Splachnum ampullaceum*, Mnium seligeri*, Leptobryum pyriforme* and Trichocolea tomentella were also recorded. Other sites visited included some spoil heaps near Lamancha on which Ditrichum flexicaule* was collected and the Whim House Estate where Dicranella cerviculata* and Eurhynchium murale* were recorded.

[* New vice-county record.]

The waterfalls and corries around Grey Mare’s Tail. Moffat (v.-c. 72) had been suggested for 30 August. Four people did indeed attempt a forlorn trip up the waterfalls where Plectocolea subelliptica* and Brachydontium trichodes were seen, but the wind and rain put an end to further exploration. One party then stopped near St Mary’s Loch (v.-c. 79) where Pellia neesiana*, Riccardia incurvata*, Fossombronia wondraczekii*, Haplomitrium hookeri* and Pohlia bulbifera* were found. At the east end of Talla Reservoir (v.-c. 78) the same party recorded Fossombronia incurva*, Atrichum tenellum*, Archidium alternifolium*, Trichostomum brachydontium*, Pohlia rothii*, P. bulbifera* and, just above the reservoir, Campylopus fragilis*. In the area around the waterfalls above Talla Water Lophozia alpestris*, Barbilophozia hatcheri*, Plectocolea subelliptica*, Radula lindbergiana, Dicranella subulata*, Campylopus atrovirens*, Plagiobryum zierii and Neckera crispa* were seen. Other parties recorded for v.-c. 79 Riccia sorocarpa* and Fossombronia wondraczekii on bare earth and Nowellia curvifolia, Orthotrichum striatum and O. stramineum as epiphytes in Black Andrew Wood, Hygroamblystegium tenax* from rocks by Yarrow Water, Trichostomum sinuosum*, Barbula spadicea, Hygroamblystegium fluviatile and Brachythecium glareosum, the last on a wall, in Hareswood Glen. Tortula papillosa, Orthotrichum pulchellum and Pohlia delicatula* at Essenside and lastly Calypogeia trichomanis* in a bog at Woll Rig, West of Ashkirk.

31 August was set aside for recording and the party split up to give a more effective cover of unrecorded squares. One party concentrated on Peebles and Midlothian, first visiting Glentress (v.-c. 78) where Calypogeia neesiana var. neesiana* was recorded on a peaty bank, Pellia neesiana* was seen in a roadside flush and Thuidium delicatulum* and Hypnum lindbergii were found by the road. On damp gravelly ground by the track leading to Broad Law Quarry (v.-c. 83) Pohlia lutescens*, P. gracilis* and Bryum ruderale* were found whilst a sandy bank in the quarry furnished Lophozia alpestris, Scapania scandica* and Dicranella subulata. Old lime workings at Middleton proved to be too dry to provide much interest; Aloina aloides and Barbula trifaria were however seen. Two stops at Gladhouse Reservoir brought to light Bryum bornholmense*, Pohlia bulbifera, Fossombronia incurva, Riccia beyrichiana and R. sorocarpa on exposed mud or amongst gravel. A short visit to Cowieslinn (v.-c. 78) yielded Plagiothecium curvifolium* on a tree stump and Frullania fragilifolia*, Lophozia alpestris and Plectocolea obovata on rocks by the waterfall. In v.-c. 79 other members recorded Ditrichum cylindricum*, Grimmia alpicola var. rivularis, Pohlia lutescens* and Hygroamblystegium tenax from around Standing Craig Reservoir, Fissidens rufulus* and Eurhynchium praelongum var. stokesii* from Caddon Water, Dicranella staphylina* from a track at High Sunderland, Lophozia bicrenata*, Barbilophozia hatcheri*, Cephaloziella starkei* and Brachythecium albicans* from a quarry between Galashiels and Clovenfords. In the Quair Water valley (v.-c. 78) they found Cephaloziella rubella*, Orthotrichum rivulare, O. lyellii and Hygroamblystegium fluviatile from Quair Water.

1 September started unpromisingly but one party, undeterred by the wind and rain, explored Bitch Craig at the head of the Manor Water valley (v.-c. 78). Here rock and scree habitats offered Lophozia alpestris, Barbilophozia hatcheri, Douinia ovata, Scapania scandica*, Dicranum blyttii, Cynodontium jenneri*, Rhabdoweisia denticulata and Plagiothecium denticulatum var. obtusifolium*. Meanwhile, one member, who had been put off by the heavy rain, found Haplomitrium hookeri* well established on a damp patch of muddy gravel by the Manor Water. Associated species included Riccardia incurvata*, Fossombronia incurva, Plectocolea paroica and Pohlia bulbifera. Bryum microerythrocarpum* and B. tenuisetum* were also recorded from patchily grassy hummocks near Manor Farm. On the return journey stops were made by the River Tweed, W. of Manor Sware where Barbilophozia hatcheri, Scapania subalpina and Orthotrichum rivulare were seen. In the grounds of the castle 1 mile West of Peebles Porella platyphylla*. Pohlia lutescens and Pterogonium gracile* were recorded. Those who chose v.-c. 79 for their venue were rewarded by Cephalozia bicuspidata var. lammersiana* and Sphagnum subsecundum var. auriculatum* at Witchie Knowe and Riccardia sinuata* in the valley of the River Yarrow at Lewenshope.

The morning of 2 September was spent exploring the Old Red Sandstone gorge of the River North Esk at Roslin (v.-c. 83). Orthodontium gracile was the undoubted highlight but Calypogeia neesiana var. meylanii* and Tetraphis browniana were also seen on shaded rock faces whilst fallen trees offered suitable habitats for Nowellia curvifolia, Dicranum strictum and Orthodontium lineare. After lunch the rain intensified and in a veritable downpour one member was deposited at Auchencorth Moss, a bleak bog on the borders of v.-c.s 78 and 83. Commendable perseverance was repaid by the discovery of Cephaloziella subdentata*, Calypogeia sphagnicola* and Thuidium delicatulum* (v.-c. 83) and Lepidozia trichoclados* (v.-c. 78), Riccardia latifrons, Lepidozia sylvatica and Calypogeia neesiana var. neesiana were also recorded. The remainder of the party visited the more sheltered valley at Nether Habbie’s Howe at the invitation of the Misses Maclagen of Newhall House. At the lower end where the River North Esk cuts through sandstone Calypogeia neesiana var. meylanii*, Eucladium verticillatum* and Hypnum cupressiforme var. mammillatum* were recorded for v.-c. 78. On the limestone further upstream Metzgeria pubescens and Anomodon viticulosus were seen. On the return journey to Peebles Baddinsgill Reservoir was visited and before the party was politely asked to leave, Ephemerum serratum var. serratum* was collected on exposed mud.

The final day, 3 September, which mercifully remained dry, was set aside for recording squares not previously covered. Three members selected the Ettrick Water valley in v.-c. 79. At the head of the valley somewhat basic rather exposed ground at about 1200 ft altitude around Longhope Burn was explored. On a track and adjacent peaty banks Pohlia rothii*, Campylopus fragilis* and Scapania scandica* were noted. Lophozia alpestris, Leiocolea bantriensis, Nardia geoscyphus*, Sphagnum contortum and Thuidium delicatulum* were found by the burn. During a lunch stop at Nether Phawhope Calypogeia muellerana*, Plectocolea paroica*, Scapania subalpina. Frullania fragilifolia* and Hyocomium flagellare* were recorded on rocks by the Ettrick Water. Bryum bornholmense* was seen by the road. At Brockhoperig Funaria attenuata* was growing luxuriantly in the lee of the river bank. Sphagnum teres and Marsupella funckii were also seen on peaty humus. The rocks at the junction of Cossarshill Burn and Ettrick Water provided a suitable habitat for Hygrobiella laxifolia* and Plectocolea subelliptica*. Orthotrichum pulchellum* and O. striatum* were collected on trees nearby.

The remaining members explored areas in v.-c. 78 closer to Peebles. In Meldon Burn valley. Sphagnum subsecundum var. inundatum*, S. teres, Andreaea rothii var. crassinervia*, Grimmia stirtonii* and Rhodobryum roseum were recorded. Ptilidium pulcherrimum was noted on an alder by Eddleston Water. Metzgeria fruticulosa, Dicranum strictum and Orthotrichum pulchellum were seen in the grounds of Portmore House.

Although few rare species were seen during the meeting the relatively large number of new records, totalling over 100, indicates that the Peebles area still offers worthwhile ground, particularly in subalpine habitats, for bryological exploration.

D. F. Chamberlain