Sunday, 7 May 2017

check up on Southbya in Lydstep

On the way back from St Davids (long weekend camping) I decided to pop to Lydstep to check out Sams Southbya tophacea colony he had recorded back in 2012?  I am slowly visiting all the Welsh populations, just Barafundle Bay left. I had a quick scrabble up the cliff and after about 40 minutes I had identified a few very shrivelled up colonies. To say a few I mean three at best, none more than 10 cm in area and all on loose open ground of which there wasn't much (see general site photo). So good to confirm it is still there (SS 09150 97747).

Interesting that it was growing in the unconsolidated and quite loose 'scree' made up of fragments of limestone from the host bedrock (Carboniferous Pembroke Limestone Group) mixed together with clay and soil, rather than directly on more permanent tufa forming seepages (like the VOG populations). I could only find it on more open areas of ground, which were very limited.

The weather was gloriously dry, so I would hope to find more  if everything wasn't so shrivelled up, mind you, not sure id fancy climbing that cliff in the wet.

As usual I was armed with a totally underwhelming iphone4 for photos, so do 'enjoy'.

location on cliff
general view of site, with lots of Contoneaster and other ground cover..including Hannah busy getting a closer look. 

close up, Southbya on the unconsolidated material rather than direct on the bedrock. 

Colony of shrivelled up Sothbya tophacea  (I know another terrible photo, was checked with x10 hand lense)


  1. Thanks Gareth, and well done to the two of you for refinding the colony. I really ought to go back myself some time, because it would be interesting to see what the general bryophyte flora is like after the Cotoneaster clearance. Your photo seems to show little Cotoneaster but also very little suitable ground for the Southbya, so the clearance may only have done part of its aim. Maybe I'll swing by next time I'm in Pembs.

  2. Afraid im not good enough for complete bryo survey but one day maybe ! Ground cover was quite thick not much open ground. I guess this area is much wetter in winter ? was dry as a bone today !