Yesterday I happened to be passing close to the site near Capel-y-ffin in the
NE Black Mountains where Ray Woods
found Antitrichia almost 30 years ago, so I had a quick run up to the crags to
see if it was still present. After a bit
of searching I eventually spotted about 10 brownish-red patches on a vertical
rock face, well above head height, which proved to have the unmistakeable leaf
tips with backwards curving teeth.
It had rained all the previous night, which had probably enhanced the colour of the plant and it might have been more difficult to spot in dry conditions. Much of the crag is mildly calcareous, with Neckera crispa growing on the most calcareous parts. In his Flora, Ray mentions that there were two patches, so if it is the same face, then possibly it has spread slightly, or the original patches have fragmented resulting in several smaller patches. The face is well out of reach of sheep and it is not a place someone is likely to climb, so the population will hopefully continue to thrive. This is the only known south Wales population - the RDB indicates 8 extant (post 1970) sites in Wales, but it looks like only three or four of the north Wales records are post 2000.