North Wales Plant Group at Caergwrle

This was a lovely meeting involving old and new friends and a trip to a most scenic castle.  And some bryology:)

Sorry to say that I don’t have any pretty pictures, though, as I have been too busy recording plants on the two occasions I’ve been here!

We recorded 28 species (plus homework), all common plants of woodland in acid upland situations, it stayed dry and I think everyone had a nice time.  Win.  Species of the day was Pseudotaxiphyllum elegans because it was looking plush and lovely and on closer inspection had lots of the characteristic long filaments in the leaf axils – very helpful for ID.

From the BBS Field Guide

From the BBS Field Guide

Here is a website with some nice pictures of the castle and environs to make up for my lack of photos.

Small projects for Dwr Cymru Welsh Water, North Wales, 2016

I’ve been on tour in North Wales recently looking at four small projects for Dwr Cymru Welsh Water.  In all cases, these were small pipeline schemes and my job was to look for any ecological constraints on the project.  These types of projects don’t need planning permission, but DCWW are aware of their responsibilities towards wildlife, and protected species in particular, so they are keen to have everything checked out to make sure they stay within the law. Continue reading

British Bryological Society Cumbria meeting 2016

It’s lovely to botanise with other people, especially if they are more experienced than me, as I find that I learn so much more through working with others than I do when I’m out on my own.  This was a very enjoyable weekend in west Cumbria.

On the Saturday the weather was foggy and it was mizzling, so we decided to be sensible and stick to obvious paths, tracks and riverbanks for our day on Lankrigg & Latterbarrow Moss, above Ennerdale Water.  We were rewarded with 72 species of bryophyte including sheets and sheets of Nardia scalaris, Marsupella emarginata and Diplophyllum albicans – common species, but nice to see them flourishing in obviously very favourable habitat.  Later, I found Odontoschisma sphagni and we saw Ptilidium ciliare and Riccardia chamedryfoliaContinue reading

Warrington Plant Group at the Mucky Mountains

Target species for today was Preissia quadrata, a close relative of the ubiquitous Marchantia polymorpha:

From the BBS Field Guide

From the BBS Field Guide

Preissia quadrata is rare in the Warrington area because it prefers calcareous rocks and soils, which we don’t have much of.  The Mucky Mountains, though, have exactly the right conditions created by tipping of alkaline waste from the Vitriol Works through til the mid-1800s.  150 years later the waste has weathered and been colonised by all sorts of interesting wildlife. Continue reading

Bat hibernation surveys with South Lancs Bat Group

Another soggy muddy day out with South Lancs Bat Group spent traversing some old mines near Bolton in search of bats and finding record numbers! Although no thanks to me as I don’t think I’ve yet mastered the art of looking for bats and staying upright at the same time on unstable quarry debris😉

QGIS course with FSC Tomorrow’s Biodiversity

I’ve been using QGIS since 2012 but I freely admit I hadn’t got a clue what I was doing ’til I went on this course.  FSC is blessed with a genuine GIS expert in the form of Richard Burkmar (@burkmarr), currently working on the Tomorrow’s Biodiversity Project.  Part of the project’s remit is to assist biological recorders with mapping and data analysis, and so the TomBio QGIS project was born.  Richard runs courses throughout the year to show participants how QGIS can be used to map and analyse biological records.  I attended the three day course in February 2016 and I really recommend it, it has helped me massively speed up my mapping for work and is also helping me in my volunteer work with the BSBI and BBS.

Warrington Plant Group at Lymm Dam – the bryophytes

We had a successful trip here last year to look at flowering plants and thought why not come back to see the mosses and liverworts too?  We went on to record 46 species of bryophytes, a new group best😀

Species of the day was Zygodon viridissimus growing on the dam wall, but it was an especially good day for liverworts including Calypogeia arguta, Calypogeia muelleriana, Pellia endiviifolia, Pellia epiphylla s.s., both common species of Lophocolea, Cephalozia bicuspidata and two species of Metgeria !

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