Summer meeting 1973: Ravenglass, Cumberland

HomeEventsSummer meeting 1973: Ravenglass, Cumberland

1 September 1973 - 8 September 1973

Meeting report

The Summer Meeting (1-8 September) was held at Ravenglass on the Cumberland coast (v.-c. 70). The main objective of this meeting was to aid the mapping scheme as records are rather sparse from the western edge of the Lake District. During the week ten localities were visited in v.-c’s 69 and 70 and records obtained for eight 10-km squares. A number of areas designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest by the Nature Conservancy were visited and species lists are being supplied for their records.

2 September. The first day was spent exploring Dalegarth woods, Stanley Ghyll and the area around Birker Force. These are areas of wooded ravine near the village of Boot in Eskdale (v.-c. 70). Although quite spectacular the gorges proved less rich than was at first thought. On the woodland edge large mounds of Mylia taylori were found, whilst the boulders in the gorge were dominated by Isothecium holtii. Good specimens of fruiting Isopterygium elegans were seen and Fissidens curnowii was collected from rocks by the river. Near Whillan Beck, Boot (v.-c. 70) Leucobryum juniperoideum was seen in woodland together with Solenostoma sphaerocarpum.

3 September. The intention on this day was to work the dunes and slacks of the Walney lsland/Roanhead area near Barrow-in-Furness (v.-c. 69) but continuous heavy rain made field work impossible. However, all was not lost, a short trip produced Riccardia incurvata* and Bryum knowltonii* from sandy ground by a pool on Walney Island and a short excursion along the shore by Ravenglass (v.-c. 70) yielded Anthoceros laevis* and Tortella flavovirens.

[* New vice-county record]

4 September. In better weather the party explored the woods and river valley of the Duddon and an afternoon excursion was made to Seathwaite Tarn. On entering the area near Seathwaite Church (v.-c. 69) Bryum alpinum var. viride was discovered on some large boulders whilst a group burrowing in a small bog containing Sphagnum papillosum, S. subsecundum var. inundatum and Odontoschisma sphagni, discovered Cryptothallus mirabilis. The river gorge on v.-c. 69/70 border proved very acidic with quantities of Andreaea rupestris on the boulders. Small flushed areas under the crags (v.-c. 69) gave a little variation where, in association with fine clumps of Osmunda regalis, Fissidens adianthoides, F. osmundoides, Amphidium mougeotii, Ctenidium molluscum and Saccogyna viticulosa were found to be locally abundant. Little of note was found at Seathwaite Tarn (v.-c. 69) although good specimens of common species such as Oligotricihum hercynicum, Polytrichum aloides and Nardia compressa were seen. Other hepatics observed there included Gymnomitrion obtusum, Cephaloziella starkei and, near the Tarn edge, Anthelia julacea.

5 September. This was a free day which was spent examining a range of habitats including Wasdale Screes (v.-c. 70), Haile Great Wood (v.-c. 70), Black Moss (v.-c. 70) and Glint’s Quarry (v.-c. 70) near Egremont (limestone). The quarry, once penetrated, produced a range of Barbula spp. together with some common calcicoles and Tortella inclinata*.

6 September. By permission of the Forestry Commission the party went to the upper part of Ennerdale (v.-c. 70) where one group explored a birch wood at the head of the lake whilst a second party attempted to reach the ground between Pillar and Steeple rocks. The latter party, after discovering and photographing some very well-developed tussocks of Bazzania trilobata, Campylopus introflexus and Anthelia julacea, were driven back by the swirling mists of the upper levels and retreated to the wood. The birch wood produced a good list of western species including Hylocomium umbratum, Adelanthus decipiens, Bazzania tricrenata, Nowellia curvifolia, Anastrepta orcadensis, and Scapania umbrosa. Also found were Cephalozia leucantha, Tritomaria exsecta, Calypogeia neesiana var. neesiana* and Harpanthus scutatus.

7 September. The final day was spent in Scales Wood, near Buttermere (v.-c. 70) and this enabled several members to become acquainted with species new to them. Sematophyllum novae-caesareae was locally frequent on damp boulders and other finds included Harpanthus scutatus, Hylocomium umbratum, Fissidens curnowii, Bazzania trilobata, Nowellia curvifolia and Lejeunea ulicina.

The area worked at the meeting produced few new records, a fact probably to be expected from this corner of the Lake District with its lack of base-rich rock. However, the meeting was valuable from a mapping point of view and I should like to acknowledge thanks to the organizations and owners who allowed us access to their land.

A. D. Horrill


Ravenglass, Cumberland