Ireland has always received less bryophyte recording effort than Britain, and although targeted recording for the recent Atlas (Blockeel et al., 2014) has filled most of the large areas with few or no bryophyte records in Ireland, resulting in a much improved picture, a number of glaring gaps still exist. One of the most obvious of these was in Donegal, with 19 hectads in East and West Dongeal (H34 and H35) having less than ten (often zero) bryophyte records and many more hectads being significantly under recorded. A number of these under-recorded hectads were coastal slivers, but even discounting these, significant large gaps exist in Donegal, particularly in the mostly agricultural east of the county.
Previous BBS meetings and surveys for rare and scarce bryophytes (Lockhart et al., 2012) generally focused on well-known bryophyte hotspots, such as the Derryveagh Mountains, Glenveagh National Park, Bulbin and Slieve League, where numerous oceanic and montane specialities are known to occur. Survey work for rare and threatened bryophytes during the 2000s has increased the knowledge of Donegal bryophytes, particularly along the northwest coast, where a number of excellent bryophyte sites were documented, and in certain parts of the Bluestacks Mountains. However, with the exception of the schistose crags of Bulbin on the Inishowen Peninsula, most previous activity has taken place in the west of the county. Therefore, the remit of this meeting was to focus on poorly recorded areas of the county that had previously not been visited by bryologists, with participants under strict orders to avoid known honeypot areas.Download the meeting report