Monday, 4 April 2016

South Central Monmouthshire

Clare took B&J away for the weekend and left me to relax and do what I wanted, so naturally I grabbed my handlens and map and headed out mossing.  My target area was western Wentwood in the southern part of central Monmouthshire, where Carboniferous Limestone and Old Red Sandstone meet and the landscape is pleasantly up & down, with narrow lanes and areas of woodland.

I knocked off three blank tetrads (ST48E, 49A and 49D) and brought two others (ST49B & 49I) up to par (>80 spp) following visits to them a few years ago.  Bryologically there wasn't much to write home about, just a good cross section of the local flora.  Highlights were Tortula marginata on the wall of Penhow Woodlands NNR carpark (3rd VC35 record), a patch of Neckera pumila in Penhow Woodlands NNR (new for ST48), Fissidens exilis on the floor of some recent coppice, Plagiothecium curvifolium on conifer logs, fruiting Brachythecium velutinum on a lane bank, and the calcicoles Anomodon viticulosus, Taxiphyllum wissgrillii and Fissidens gracilifolius in the NNR.  I also got unnecessarily excited about some Orthotrichum stramineum with very orange calyptra tips, but its hairy vaginula indicated it wasn't O. pallens.



  1. Ah I yearn for those weekends at home alone - they only happen about once a year for me and are greatly cherished. As much as I enjoy the company of the children it's always healthy to have a break!

  2. I know I'm a lucky chap in many ways :-)

  3. I found similar looking stramineum a few weeks ago which took me far too long to rule out the rares. It was a useful exercise all the same. Another day...