2019 Bryophyte Identification Training in Cornwall by Plantlife

***Opportunity for free specialist training to learn about mosses and liverworts and develop your ID skills***

 

Bryophytes (mosses and liverworts) are small plants that are easily overlooked. Many of us enjoy the bright green carpets they form on trees and boulders, but never think much more about them. However, if you take a close look (and you know what to look for) a diverse and fascinating world is revealed. Bryophytes are a very rewarding group of plants to study, as the UK is home to over half of all Europe’s bryophyte species, and the bryophyte diversity of the south-west’s woods rival the cloud forests of the tropics.

To help with their conservation, Plantlife is offering free training in Cornwall for those interested in bryophytes to develop their identification skills. Those interested are invited to register for one of the 2-day foundation courses taking place this spring at Siblyback Activity Centre, Bodmin Moor with trips to local woodland:

 

  • 7th-8th May (9am-4pm)

 

  • 15th-16th May (9am-4pm)

 

On completing the 2-day workshop, participants will have an opportunity to register for an advanced course (as part of our New Generation Botanist programme) to develop more in-depth ID skills. Advanced courses are free but require commitment to attend 10 sessions in Cornwall over the course of a 12 month period, as well as taking part in own study and peer-supported study sessions. To register your interest please complete the online form here.

Sunday 17th February 2019 – Big Stoke and Westbury Beacon, near Wells, Somerset

Join us to look at a rich area of limestone and loess grassland, rock outcrops, drystone walls and ancient woodland on the Mendip scarp slope.

A brief exploration of this area in 2014 produced a long list of species including Entosthodon muhlenbergii, Brachythecium glareosum, Bryoerythrophyllum ferruginascens, Heterocladium flaccidum, Plasteurhynchium striatulum, Scorpiurium circinatum, Rhodobryum roseum, Fossombronia caespitiformis and Riccia subbifurca. There is surely more to find.

Meet at the entrance to Draycott Sleights nature reserve where the West Mendip Way (bridleway) crosses a lane at ST 486513. Parking is limited here – there is room for several cars but if necessary we can also park with care at the edge of the lane just downhill.

Leader: Sharon Pilkington

Fyfield Down

Sunday 24th March 2019 – Fyfield Down, Marlborough, Wiltshire

Fyfield Down is a biological and geological SSSI in the Marlborough Downs. It contains the best assemblage of sarsen stones in England and supports populations of bryophytes not known from elsewhere in Wiltshire and/or southern England. Species known from the stones include Grimmia decipiens, Orthotrichum rupestre, Hedwigia stellata, H. ciliata, Racomitrium heterostichum and Pterogonium gracile. We have permission to explore an area where there are few previous records (SU1371).

Meet in the car park north of Manton at SU159699, which is accessed via a minor lane off the A4. Because of the remote nature of Fyfield Down this visit is likely to involve 6-7 km of walking.

Leader: Sharon Pilkington