British Bryological Society summer meeting, Snowdonia (2015)

I spent all week outside in Snowdonia and didn’t wear my waterproofs once.  It was sunny, dry and warm all week.  Unbelievable !  Basically, this means the organiser Sam has the ability to control the weather, so you should definitely go to any future events he arranges.  I certainly will !

BrySoc put on two summer meetings each year to record mosses and liverworts in under-recorded areas of Britain and Ireland – in 2015 this is the mountains of Snowdonia and the island of Eigg off Scotland.  Since I live just two hours from Betws-y-coed, I could not miss this event.

wandering in search of bryophytesEach day for a week, we gathered in the main car park at Betws-y-coed and were dispatched in groups to target areas, usually upland cwms (corries), looking for rare bryophytes.  The want list for the week included many alpine plants and rarities of upland basic rock more often found in Scotland.

cwm with Dichodontium palustre in the foreground

I spent most of the week around rivers and tarns and mooching along the base of crags looking for anything I didn’t recognise – which, as it turns out, includes quite a lot of common upland species, but that’s OK, I know I still have a lot to learn 🙂

Bryologists looking at Haplomitrium hookeri and Fossombronia fimbriata

More adventurous groups scaled the walls of many of the cwms in the Carneddau – including the Black Ladders, which most climbers won’t touch except in winter because it is so wet and slippery.  You wouldn’t get me up there without a rope and a climbing instructor !! (actually, the climbing instructor would probably refuse on the grounds of safety).  All this bravado was well worth it though, and the combined groups came back with loads of interesting records including a species new to Wales and another which hadn’t been recorded since 1928.

cragging in cwm cywion

I learned loads too so from a personal perspective it was well worth it even if I didn’t quite scale the same heights as some of the other participants.

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