Thursday, 4 May 2017

A visit to Darren Fach SSSI

A week ago I visited Darren Fach and Darren Fawr - on the Carboniferous Limestone north of Merthyr Tydfil - with 4 NRW colleagues to remember the massive role that David Stevens played in Welsh nature conservation.  We paid our respects to Sorbus leyana and Dryopteris submontana, following in David's footsteps, and I made a search for one of David's favourite Welsh bryophytes, Tortella densa.  His initial discovery of this species, new for Wales, was on the limestone of Great Orme's Head, and the only other Welsh record comes from the Clwyd limestone near Llangollen, but I hoped that Darren Fawr might offer a good chance.  The Tortella hunt was disappointing, as were the bryophytes of the general area, which is very dry and exposed.  Final tally for the area (split between SO0110, SO0210 & SO0209) was less than 50 species, with a few additions to tetrads I hope.  Highlights were Seligeria acutifolia and Grimmia hartmannii in the woodland below Darren Fach.  My previous visit to the southern end of Darren Fawr in SO0209 was similarly bryo-poor.

1 comment:

  1. I had the privilege of knowing David when he worked as a post-doc at Swansea in the 1980s. He had a passion for grasses and grasslands and he was the driving force behind the survey of species-rich grasslands of Wales (1987-2004). He was an exceptional field botanist and a kind and gentle man. A sad and great loss to Welsh botany.