Monday, 3 November 2014

Metal toxic Swansea

Here are a couple of photos from the Pluck Lake/Six Pits branch area of Llansamlet, taken during a survey in 2007.  Brachythecium velutinum on the metal-rich spoil is extremely falcate and well-marked; Scopelophila cataractae is more subtle, but distinctively tongue-shaped; the area also supported a peculiar bulbiliferous Pohlia that keys as P annotina but is too shiny (suggesting P proligera).  It would be good to go back some time to see how these species are doing, because 99% of the metal spoil heaps in Swansea have been reclaimed. 


  1. There's still a significant amount of zinc waste in the White Rock area of the Lower Swansea Valley. Leucobryum juniperoideum used to grow under the Lodgepole Pine near Pluck Lake.

  2. Thanks Charles. I'm not sure where White Rocks is. I did Pluck Lake and Six Pits Branch but it would be goog to cover other areas. Also I'm not sure we've got a record of Leuc jun from there, so can you recall a year?

  3. White Rock is the area south of Pluck Lake (near the next roundabout). It straddles the main road. The area next to the river is largely reclaimed but there's still some metalliferous patches. The most contaminated site is on the other side of the road below Kilvay Forest. There's a lay-by off the road at SS 69429471, from which you can access the Community Forest Trail. Near the lower part of the trail there's an area dominated by Heather and Purple Moor-grass ( with lots of Cross-leaved Heath) which still has some bare areas where there is some slag near the surface - it's amazing how much natural heathland reclamation has occurred here.
    I should have a specimen of the L. juniperoideum somewhere, which will reveal the date. But we are talking late 1980s I think. Finding the specimen will be a challenge - it might be easier to go back and look for the moss!