21st February 2016 – Salisbury Plain, Sidbury Hill

Sidbury Hill is a prominent hill fort near Tidworth that is rich in calcicolous bryophytes. On its slopes and in the dry flinty valleys nearby we should see plenty of Pottiopsis caespitosa, Didymodon acutus and Abietinella abietina. Populations of Weissia sterilis, Pleurochaete squarrosa, Encalypta vulgaris, Lophozia perssonii and Aloina rigida have also been seen recently in the same area.

As this is a military area, we will have to restrict numbers and places will be reserved on a first come, first served basis. To book, please email Sharon at sharon.pilkington1@btinternet.com.

Leader: Sharon Pilkington.

19th-20th March 2016 – Exmoor

A weekend meeting to explore some under-recorded sites in this exceptional area. We will meet at 10.30am on Saturday morning at the National Trust study centre at Piles Mill, near Allerford, Minehead TA24 8HP; GR SS 905465. We will then move on to some of the National Trust’s Holnicote Estate, with a view to updating records for this western part of Somerset. We will meet up after the day at Piles Mill to review the day and look at material, so if you wish to bring microscopes National Trust have kindly agreed to allow us to use the study centre for Saturday evening. On Sunday we will again meet at 10.30 at Piles Mill and then go on to look at some of the sites further south along the River Barle, finishing at around 4pm. If enough people attend we will split into two parties on each day.

Those wishing to attend for the whole weekend or just for a day should contact Andrew at andrew@3alpacas.co.uk.

Leader: Andrew Branson.

17th April 2016 – Brown’s Folly, Bathford, near Bath

Brown’s Folly lies on the Wiltshire – Somerset border and is the site of a major complex of disused Bath Stone (Oolitic Limestone) mines. Much of the area is now wooded with shaded rock exposures and there is also a tract of interesting limestone grassland in a disused quarry. It has not been surveyed in any detail but there are previous records of Seligeria pusilla, Entodon concinnus and Tortella nitida.

Meet in the free car park off the minor road between Bathford and Monkton Farleigh at ST797663.

Leader: Sharon Pilkington.

April 19th 2015 – Hambledon Hill, Dorset

This chalk hill overlooking the Blackmore Vale is capped by a spectacular series of ancient earthworks and has a rich vascular plant flora. There are also records for a good range of chalk specialist bryophytes, such as Ephemerum recurvifolium, Pleurochaete and Entodon. The site has recently been acquired by the National Trust, so now is a good time to see how the bryophytes are faring on this iconic site. Steep slopes and slippery ground.

Parking is limited near the hill so we will initially meet at the car park at Child Okeford Community Centre, Station Road DT11 8EL; ST 833123.

Leader: Andrew Branson.

February 15th 2015 – Ebbor Gorge, Wells, North Somerset

Ebbor Gorge National Nature Reserve is a spectacular wooded cleft on the scarp of the Mendip Hills, with dramatic limestone cliffs, species-rich grassland, ancient woodland and a stream. It was visited by the BBS in 1991 but has received little attention since despite a very high diversity of species. Attractions include Marchesinia mackaii, Cololejeunea rossettiana and Plasteurhynchium striatulum (not recorded since 1959). The gorge is accessible on foot only and has numerous steep paths and slippery ground.

Park in the large public car park off the minor lane (Deerleap) between Priddy and Wookey Hole at ST 5208 4844.

Leader: Sharon Pilkington.

December 7th 2014 – Golden Cap and St Gabriel’s, Dorset

Mixed woodland, acid grassland, heath and soft cliffs with springs. A fascinating complex of habitats owned by the National Trust which should produce a wide range of species including perhaps Phaeoceros laevis, which has previously been recorded in the area.

Meet at car park at Langdon Hill at SY413931, accessed by minor road off A35 west of Chideock.

Leader: Bryan Edwards.

November 16th 2014- Somerford Common, near Royal Wootton Bassett, North Wiltshire

Somerford Common is a large, damp clay woodland with streams that is managed by the Forestry Commission. It has not been looked at in much detail for its bryophyte interest and the purpose of the meeting is to explore and record it, aiming to refind species such as Fossombronia wondraczekii, seen by Jean Paton in 1988.

Park in the obvious car park off the lane between Brinkworth and Minety at SU02868674.

Leader: Sharon Pilkington

October 26th 2014 – Matley Bog, New Forest, Hampshire

An exploratory meeting in an  extensive area of wet and dry heath, woodland and valley mire with rich Sphagnum communities. Wellingtons essential!

Park in the car park off B3056, east of Lyndhurst at SU332074.

Leader: Sharon Pilkington.