Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Splachnum on Gower

Over the last couple of years I've been looking out for Splachnum on the Gower Commons during Marsh Fritillary larval web surveys. I've glanced over I don't know how many cow pats in suitable wet acidic habitat and seen nothing, and only yesterday said to Karen Wilkinson "it really doesn't seem to be here, how odd". So I suppose it was inevitable that I would stumble across some Splachnum on Fairwood Common today. This was S. ampullaceum on horse rather than cattle dung, in a valley mire at SS57659245. I found some more on another pile of horse dung nearby.


  1. Well done George!! That's fantastic, and really well-marked toothy Splachnum. It has surely declined in S Wales, given how seldom we see it, but we now have a pretty good scatter of recent records from the region.

  2. Absolutely wizard! Quite a few hours have gone into examining animal dung to get this result, which goes to some of these scarcer species just take time or good fortune.

  3. Thanks both. It does seem to be cropping up quite often in the last few years but I guess that's due to increased recording effort (and, at least in my case, making an effort to look out for it during other surveys) rather than a genuine recent increase.