Monday, 19 December 2016

Swansea main line slag walls revisited

'railway hepatic mat'
Scapania compacta
I was back at Llwynbrwydrau today, so before going on site I went down to Llansamlet railway station to see if the slag wall did, as suspected, extend all the way along this section.  Sure enough at the east end of the platform I could see the wall was continued to this more western location (which also happens to be in the next tetrad to the west) and I took the opportunity to take a sneaky look at the first 10m (or so). A less hurried search produced more hepatics, with the following noted growing on or between the slag blocks:
Cephalozia bicuspidata (r)
Cephaloziella stellulifera (only seen at eastern location)
Diplophyllum albicans (o)
Gymnocolea inflata (r)
Lophocolea bidentata (o)
Nardia scalaris (f)
Scapania compacta (o)
Solenostoma gracillimum (o-lf)
Solenostoma hyalinum (o)
Mosses were more prominent on the peaty soil on top of and behind the retaining wall, though there was nothing of any real note other than fruiting Hypnum jutlandicum. Unfortunately no real metallophyte assemblage, so no realistic Scopelophia potential in this section, but I live in hope...
Hypnum jutlandicum in fruit


  1. Hoep you checked the train timetables before your visit ;-)

    And congratulations on adding S. hyalinum to the county list!

  2. I'll wait for Sam's verdict first, but thank you all the same.

  3. It's a very busy line I have to say, 4 trains passed when I was there, but you could hear them a long way off, especially the fast ones. If the strike ever affects our lines it would provide a great opportunity to check more widely.

  4. Looks good for hyalina Barry and nice record for S. compacta.