Sunday, 18 October 2015

Forestry etc in NE Carms

I spent a couple of hours in SN73D, which includes the village of Porthyrhyd, on 17th October.  The tetrad already had 75 species recorded, mostly by Jonathan Graham, but I am trying to visit all Carms tetrads myself and this one looked pretty diverse.  My visit revealed 129 species, most of them in the Banc-y-garreg Forestry, and took the tetrad total to 147 (Jon had several additional species including Bazzania trilobata from the inaccessible private rocks on Banc Bwlchdrebannau).

The forestry tracks were notably species-rich, with highlights including Archidium, Fossombronia wondraczekii, Riccia glauca, 1 fruiting rosette of Phaeoceros laevis, Campylopus subulatus, Bryoerythrophyllum ferruginascens, Pohlia drummondii and female Jungermannia hyalina.  In contrast, epiphytes were rather limited and I failed to find any Colura (!) although most of the other willow regulars were present.  As I continued deeper into the forestry I found a clearfell area with 3 or 4 very small rock outcrops (each <5x2m in extent), and to my surprise these held Barbilophozia attenuata, Plagiochila punctata, P. spinulosa and Sphagnum quinquefariumRiccardia palmata on damp conifer logs was new for the hectad.

The trackside habitat of Jungermannia hyalina and the Plagiochila punctata outcrop (iPod photos) 

This productive first hour was followed by a fairly fruitless session along the lanes approaching Olchfa Mill, with Ctenidium, Pellia endiviifolia and a few species by a rocky stream being the only additions.  The tracks along Banc Bwlchdrebannau were even worse, as all the good rocky habitat is set well back on private land.  Luckily, things ended on a good note with a visit to Porthyrhyd Chapel, which held a good range of typical churchyard mosses including Encalypta streptocarpa, Pseudocrossidium revolutum, Gyroweisia tenuis, Schistidium apocarpum and Ephemerum minutissimum.
There are still >80 tetrads I haven't visited, most of which are light blue on this coverage map


  1. That's a mightily impressive tally, with some great quality to boot. I'm not sure many Glamorgan sites could match in a couple of hours, or even a day! I spent about 3 hours on the south side of Cefn Bryn this afternoon and only managed to find a few basic flushes, most areas being acid, but nice quality all the same. Unfortunately the best site I found was about 20 minutes after sunset, but I have a few samples to check. Earlier highlights in better light included another Scorpidium cossonii location (in a new tetrad), a rock with a strong Grimmia trichophylla colony and a flush rock with a beautiful Bryum alpinum cushion.

  2. Mighty impressive indeed. H and I spent a couple of hours this afternoon in forestry on reclaimed coal spoil near the Selar opencast site and our tally was barely a third of yours. Plenty of Colura and some impressive colonies of Tortella tortuosa, Campylium stellatum and Saniona uncinata plus some Loeskeobryum brevirostre were our highlights - hardly compares with your 60 minute bonanza!
    I'd love to see your forestry track list Sam. I've been collating our NPT forestry records in an attempt to get a consensus for habitats like forestry tracks, willow scrub etc. so it would be fascinating to compare with similar habitats from another region.

  3. That's a very nice selection of species too Charles, I've still not seen L. brevirostre