After a weekend with friends in Church Stretton a couple of weeks ago I had the rare luxury of a spare half day on a sunny Sunday. What could better use of this precious time than to look for rare bryophytes on the Long Mynd?
I'd Googled 'Long Mynd bryophytes' just before leaving home and was delighted to discover Des Callaghan's excellent and informative 2015 article in Field Bryology (link here). There was far more to seek out than I had time for, but I couldn't resist a hunt for the Schedule 8 species Jamesoniella undulifolia, with the Nover's Hill site being just a short walk from where I was staying. After 20 minutes on hands and kness among Sphagnum at the margins of a hilltop pool I found a few scattered stems - sadly I don't have any photos as I only had my phone camera which doesn't really do macro shots (as you'll see below). But here's a shot of the unremarkable habitat in which it occurs.
A couple of miles away I found a few shoots of Bryum wiegelii growing on one of the many springheads on which it occurs on the Long Mynd. There's a contender for World's Worst Bryophyte Photo below - you'll have to take my word for it that the Bryum is the pale greeny-pink stuff.
On the return to Church Stretton I checked out the outcrops at Devil's Mouth, a well known site for Grimmia montana and illustrated in Des's article. It would have been impossible to miss the hundreds of Grimmia cushions, which were often associated with the lichen Lasallia pustulata.
I didn't even attempt to look for the rare Sphagna which Des found during his recent surveys - my chances of spotting them would have been slim to say the least.