Sunday 14th March 2021 – Velvet Bottom, Charterhouse

Velvet Bottom lies in the heart of the former Mendip lead mining area and forms part of the large Cheddar Gorge Complex SSSI. It has areas of lead mine waste, drystone walls, natural limestone outcrops and heath and has not been fully explored for its bryophyte interest. Similar habitat at nearby Blackmoor has Ptychomitrium polyphyllum, Bryum donianum and Bryoerythrophyllum ferruginascens. This meeting was planned for 2020 but had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Park near Charterhouse in the large layby along the minor road at ST 5034 5550.

Leader: Sharon Pilkington

Sunday 14th February 2021 – Salisbury Plain, South Wiltshire

The eastern part of Salisbury Plain is rich in bryophytes and the group has visited it before. This time we will look at a slightly different area, to the north of Sidbury Hill. An intimate mixture of disturbed flinty ground, bare chalk and rich chalk grassland occurs here and we should find Abietinella abietina var. hystricosa, Pottiopsis caespitosa, Tortula lanceola and Lophozia perssonii. If we’re lucky we could also see Seligeria calcarea and Aloina rigida. This area also has one of Wiltshire’s last remaining fragments of Scapanietum asperae (southern hepatic mat).

Leader: Sharon Pilkington

Sunday 17th January 2021 – Oareford, Exmoor

A trip to the far west of Somerset to explore Weir Water and Chalk Water which flow west to join the East Lyn River. There are few records from these headwaters. A recent trip turned up a nice selection of classic western river species, epiphytes and species of acid rocks, as well as some nice flushes, with species such as Campylium stellatum, Scorpidium cossonii, Climacium dendroides, Pellia neesiana and Marchantia polymorpha subsp. polymorpha, as well as some good epiphytes. It is wet in places so please wear wellies.

Park at the car park at Robber’s Bridge at SS 821464. This is accessed via the minor road signposted to Oare and Malmsmead off the A39, west of Porlock.

Leader: Andrew Branson

Saturday 12th December 2020 – Hilfield Friary, Dorset

Hilfield Friary is hidden away in a rich part of West Dorset. The Friary is very conservation minded and keen to have a list of the bryophytes on their land, which includes meadows, woodlands and streams. There are also some excellent woodlands adjacent, such as the Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Hendover Coppice and nearby promising-looking chalk grassland at Batcombe Down and Telegraph Hill.

Meet at the car park at the Friary at ST 631044. If you are travelling from the east take the A352 south of Sherborne and then after Lyon’s Gate the second minor road right signposted to Evershot. Just past a Dorset Council local nature reserve car park at Hilfield Hill, there is a steep road right, down to the Friary. The woods are steep and slippery, so please wear appropriate footwear.

Leader: Andrew Branson

Forthcoming Field Meetings

Our meetings programme normally runs from October to March inclusive. At the present we do not have any forthcoming meetings but watch this space for further announcements for Autumn 2020 through to Spring 2021.