BBS > Activities > Meetings and Workshops > Previous > 1940s   

Meetings of the BBS - 1940s


Annual Meeting and Excursion 1945, London, 11 - 14 September

The first meeting of the British Bryological Society since 1939 was held in London from September 11th to 14th, 1945. It was a great pleasure to meet once more, after so long an interval, many old friends and to welcome keen, new members. This pleasure was somewhat overshadowed by the heavy losses the Society has sustained by death during the past six years, and by the absence, through illness, of the President, Miss E. Armitage, and the Treasurer, Mr. J.B. Duncan.

In the absence of Miss Armitage, Mr. Sherrin presided at the Annual Meeting held at 2 p.m., September 12th, in the Board Room of the Natural History Museum, South Kensington, 34 members being present. After the election of officers and referees the question of renewal of subscriptions was discussed and it was decided that each member should pay one 10s. subscription only, to cover the whole period, 1940-45. The final decision for the place and date of the 1946 meeting was left to the executive.

The excursion on Thursday, September 13th, under the leadership of Dr. Wyard, was favoured with fine weather. Most of the party assembled at Waterloo at 10.12, and were met at West Clandon Station by those who had motored down, making 28 in all. The original suggestion was that we should walk up to the top of Albury Down, down to Shere and Albury, back up the hill again to Newland's Corner, and so down to West Clandon by 3.45. Those who know the average rate on a Bryological excursion will not be surprised to learn that this proved too ambitious a programme for the time available. A most enjoyable, leisurely climb up through Netherlands' Wood was the prelude to a quick " follow-my-leader " by sundry by-paths to an ideal lunch spot on the down at the woodland edge, with a gorgeous view across the valley to other wooded hills in the distance. After lunch it was found to be too late to go farther afield so we made our way direct by a woodland path on the down summit to the well-known viewpoint at Newland's Corner. From there we returned by the main road to West Clandon Station, full of gratitude to Dr. Wyard for having planned so enjoyable an outing.

Among the interesting Bryophytes collected were Archidium alternifolium Schp., Dicranum strictum Schleich., Phascum cuspidatum Schreb., Pottia minutula Fuernr., Tortula ambigua Ångstr., Tortula laevipila Schwaeg., Ephemerum serratum Hampe, Philonotis capillaris Lindb., Webera proligera Bryhn, Pterogonium gracile Swartz, Eurynchium abbreviatum Schp., Plagiothecium denticulatum var. aptychus Spruce and P. sylvaticum B. & S.

During the evening of the 13th Dr. P. W. Richards gave the members, at the South London Botanical Institute, an interesting talk on methods of growing and cultivating bryophytes. It is hoped that he will write a paper on this subject for publication in the Report.



Spring Meeting 1946, Appleby, 10-17 April

The British Bryological Society held its first post-war Annual Meeting and Excursion at Appleby, Westmorland, from 10 to 17 April 1946. The President, Mr W. R. Sherrin, and Secretary, Mr A. Thompson, with some thirty-five members and friends were present. Dr L. B. C. Trotter and Miss J. White of Penrith served as Excursion Secretaries, and the meeting was also grateful for the assistance that had been given by Mrs Wright, Mr Evans of Appleby and Mr F. A. Sowter in making arrangements. Regret was expressed at the absence through illness of Mr Duncan and Miss Armitage from the Meeting.

The areas examined were mainly in the drainage basin of the River Eden (District 5 of Wilson's Flora of Westmorland ), and comprised some of the Fells and associated becks of the Cross Fell Range of the Pennines. The main geological formations were Carboniferous sandstones, limestones and shales, but owing to the complex system of faults and effects of glaciation in this region many pre-Carboniferous formations were exposed and also intrusions of igneous rocks.

On the first day (11 April) the party worked up Hilton Beck as far as the lead and barytes mines at the foot of the final steep rise to the Fells. The strong wind down the valley was discouraging, and only a few climbed the slopes of Hilton or Roman Fell.

On 12 April the party left the bus some three miles beyond Brough on the Middleton-in-Teesdale road and worked back along the rocky bed and wooded slopes of Swindale Beck. After the return to Brough time was available for those who wished to visit the Castle off the Kirkby Stephen road, from the tower of which there was an excellent view of the Eden valley; the courtyard of the Castle was carpeted with Erophila verna Mey.

On 13 April the party walked from Town Head, a short way south from Dufton, along the fell slope north of High Cup Gill to the Nick, and later scattered, some across a swampy stretch of High Cup Plain to a section of Maize Beck cutting through limestone, some to the higher ground of Backstone Edge and others to work in more detail the slopes of High Cup Gill, especially around the striking belt of basaltic columns of the Whin Sill.

On Sunday, 14 April, no official excursion was arranged, but a small party went as far as Dufton and Knock Pikes and had some of the best collecting of the week.

On the 15th the party left the bus at Kirkland (Cumberland) and followed the track round the north side of High Cap, a few dropping down to examine rocks at the head of Ardale Beck. Cross Fell was climbed from the north side, but the flat area of Skiddaw Slate at the summit (2929 ft.) was not rich bryologicallv and the view was obscured by cloud. The best ground was amongst the rocks on the north slope of the summit. Returning round the Fell some of the party followed the track through Wythwaite and Ranbeck to Kirkland, whilst others dropped down from Tees Head to Crowdundle Beck, the Cumberland-Westmorland boundary.

On the last day the party went north by bus to Flakebridge Wood in the morning and saw Physcomitrium pyriforme and Nowellia curvifolia fruiting and in good condition. In the afternoon the bus returned through Appleby and continued south to Sunbiggin Tarn (District 3 of Wilson's Flora ). Cinclidium stygium was present but not in good condition at this season. Birds of various kinds were nesting round the Tarn, and plants of Primula farinosa L. and Pinguicula vulgaris L. were plentiful. An excellent view of the Cross Fell Range was seen on the return journey.

The Annual Meeting was held on Friday, 12 April. The Secretary had on view the collection of photographs of past and present members of the Society, and this was of great interest and much appreciated. It was with great regret that the meeting heard of the resignation of Mr Duncan from the treasurership and from the recordership for true mosses, and a very sincere vote of thanks was passed for his long services to the Society in these capacities. The view was expressed that the Report should be enlarged and improved, and Mr F. A. Sowter undertook the Editorship; as the type of Report envisaged might prove a drain on the finances of the Society, voluntary contributions to a Printing Fund were invited. It was decided to hold the 1947 Annual Excursion in Angus during September to follow the British Association Meeting at Dundee. Miss Duncan and Mr Sinclair undertook to make arrangements.

Changes in the Officers of the Society were as follows: Vice-President : A. Thompson: Treasurer : J. H. G. Peterken; Distributor for Mosses (with C. P. Castell): E. C. Wallace; Bibliographer: E. V. Watson; Editor of the Report : F. A. Sowter; Referees: Acutifolia and Cymbifolia of Sphagna, A. Thompson; Indian Mosses, A. H. G. Alston; New Zealand Mosses, G. O. K. Sainsbury; European Mosses, British species of Bryum and Non-European Mosses, J. B. Duncan, P. W. Richards and W. Watson; Hepatics, P. W. Richards, E. W. Jones and W. Watson; Recorder for True Mosses, E. F. Warburg.

A feeling was expressed at the Meeting that some members would like to con tribute observations on some aspect of the biology of the Bryophyta so as to widen the range of work within the Society, and Dr Richards was invited to convene an informal meeting on the Monday evening to discuss the possibility of organizing some such project. It was suggested that data of interest might be collected if members would make observations on the time of fruiting and, where possible, also on the time of maturation of antheridia and archegonia so that light might be thrown on the dates for reproductive stages and the variation due to differences in latitude, altitude, aspect and season. Certain common mosses and liverworts were selected for study, and it was decided to circularize members with the particulars required.



Polytrichum aloides var. Dicksonii Wallm., Dufton Gill: Schistostega osmundacea Mohr., Dufton Gill; Hypnum falcatum var. virescens Schp., Hilton Beck and High Cup Gill; Sphagnum fallax var. plumosum Warnst., Sunbiggin Tarn; Pellia fabroniana var. lorea Nees, High Cup Gill.

V.C. 70

Dicranum Bonjeani var. rugifolium Bosw., nr. Ranbeck; Orthothecium intricatum var. abbreviatum Dixon, Tees Head; Thuidium Philiberti Limpr., Cross Fell, c. 2500 ft.; Hypnum fluitans var. falcatum Schp., Cross Fell.

The selected plants below are ones which are reported as rare or uncommon in Wilson's Flora of Westmorland (1938), or which were not reported for certain Districts of V.C. 69 in that Flora ; such new records for Districts are indicated by (5) or (3) after the name.

V.C. 69

SPHAGNA (in this case the new District Records are only indicated for the species). Sphagnum squarrosum var. spectabile Russ.; S. obesum var. plumosum Warnst. (5): S. auriculatum var. submersum Warnst. (5).

TRUE MOSSES. Tetraphis Browniana Grev.; Pleuridium alternifolium Rab. (5); Seligeria Doniana C.M. (5); S. pusilla B. & S.; Brachyodus trichodes Fuernr.; Dicranella crispa Schp. (5) (not in Wilson's Flora ): Dicranum schisti Lindb. (5); Fissidens pusillus Wils. (5) (type not recorded in Flora ); Grimmia funalis Schp. (5); Campylostelium saxicola B. & S (5); Tortula aloides De Not. (5); T. laevipila Schwaeg.; Barbula recurvifolia Schp.; B. spadicea Mitt. (5); Weisia tenuis C.M.: Trichostomum crispulum var. nigro-viride Braithw.; Encalypta rhabdocarpa Schwaeg.; Zygodon lapponicus B. & S. (5); Ulota crispa Brid.; Orthotrichum rupestre Schleich. (3); Physcomitrium pyriforme Brid. (5); Aulacomnium androgynum Schwaeg. (previous record questioned by Wilson); Webera proligera Bryhn. (5); Mnium serratum Schrad.; Cinclidium stygium Schwartz.; Heterocladium heteropterum var. fallax Milde; Pseudoleskea catenulata B. & S.; Thuidium delicatulum Mitt. (3); Eurhynchium Teesdalei Schp. (5); Plagiothecium depressum Dixon: Hypnum hispidulum var. Sommerfeltii Myr (5); H. giganteum Schp.; H. sarmentosum Wahl. (5).


Aneura palmata (Hedw.) Dum. (5), Fossombronia pusilla (L.) Dum. (5): Gymnomitrium obtusum ( Lindb.) Pears.; Marsupella emarginata (Ehrh.) Dum. (5); Aplozia riparia var. rivularis Bern. (5); Lophozia turbinata (Raddi) Steph. (5); L. Muelleri (Nees) Dum. (not recorded in Flora ); L. bantriensis (Hook.) Steph. (5): L. excisa (Dicks.) Dum. (5); L. incisa (Schrad.) Dum. (5) L. attenuata (Mart.) Dum.; L. barbata (Schmid.) Dum. (5); Nowellia curvifolia (Dicks.) Mitt. (5); Bazzania tricrenata (Wahl.) Pears. (5); Blepharostoma trichophyllum (L.) Dum. (5); Scapania nemorosa (L.). Dum. (5); S. intermedia (Husnot) Pears. (5); Radula complanata (L.) Dum. (5); Madotheca laevigata (Schrad.) Dum. (5); M. Cordeana (Hüben.) Dum. (5); Cololejeunea calcarea (Lib.) Schiffn.; Lejeunea patens Lindb. (5).

V.C. 70

TRUE MOSSES. Seligeria Doniana C.M.; S. pusilla B. & S.; S. recurvata B. & S.; Dicranodontium longirostre B. & S.; Grimmia Doniana Sm.; Tetraplodon mniodes B. & S.; Mnium serratum Schrad.; Fontinalis antipyretica var. gracilis Schp.; Pseudoleskea catenulata B. & S.; Amblystegium irriguum B. & S.; Hypnum vernicosum Lindb.; H. cordifolium Hedw.

HEPATICS. Marsupella ustulata Spruce; Aplozia cordifolia (Hook.) Dum.; Calypogeia arguta Nees & Mont


Jubilee Meeting 1946, London, 27-28 September

The 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Moss Exchange Club, which became the British Bryological Society in 1923, was commemorated by a two-day meeting of the Society in London on 27 and 28 September 1946. The local Secretaries for the meeting consisted of the President (Mr W. R. Sherrin), Mrs Sherrin, Dr S. Wyard and Mr A. D. Banwell.

The meeting opened in the Board Room of the British Museum (Natural History) in the afternoon of Friday, 27 September, the President being in the Chair. Forty-seven members and friends attended. After welcoming those present, the President called on Prof. T. M. Harris for his lecture on 'The Fossil History of the Bryophytes '.

Having carried out original research on the subject, Prof. Harris was able to speak from personal knowledge and experience. Many members knew little about fossil bryophytes, and the opportunity of hearing an authoritative account of them and of seeing the photographs and drawings with which the lecture was illustrated proved most welcome. Afterwards there were questions and a short discussion.

The meeting then adjourned to the main entrance of the building to have its photograph taken. Bryologists must be retiring people, for some difficulty was experienced in persuading any one to stand in the front row of the group.

After tea, Miss Wigglesworth lectured on 'Reproduction in Polytrichum commune '. Here, too, the lecturer spoke on a subject which she had personally investigated, and numerous drawings and specimens were produced by way of illustration; questions and discussion followed. A paper on the subject by the lecturer appears elsewhere in this issue.

The formal proceedings being over, members turned their attention to the exhibits. These included some sheets and slides from the herbarium of the late Mr H. N. Dixon, part of the Society's own Moss Herbarium, and several striking exotic mosses from the Museum's collections. The last included some beautiful species of the genus Spiridens , which was revised by Mr W. R. Sherrin in 1937.

Also shown were selections of recent new V.C. records of mosses, Sphagna and hepatics, various microscope slides and living specimens, and several sheets of coloured drawings of British mosses by Dr L. B. C. Trotter and Prof. J. Else. Some recent additions to the Society's library were on view, together with a copy of the first Report of the Moss Exchange Club and the original notices of the formation of the Club in Science Gossip and the Irish Naturalist.

On the following morning the meeting left Charing Cross by train for Tunbridge Wells. From there, under the guidance of Mr G. E. Shaw and Mr F. Rose, the party went by special bus to The Warren, Eridge. Here members explored Eridge Rocks, and the shady sandstone outcrops proved of considerable interest, particularly to hepaticologists.

The weather was brilliantly fine and hot. A picnic lunch was taken in a clearing in the woods, and afterwards one party returned to Tunbridge Wells and thence to London, while another group walked over to Harrison Rocks, near Forge Farm. These could be explored only briefly owing to lack of time, but several additional species were found. This second party returned direct to London from Eridge Station.

Although of much interest, the area was not expected to yield many new discoveries, as it had already been worked by the late Mr W. E. Nicholson and others. Among the plants collected, however, Dr P. W. Richards has detected Calypogeia Meylanii Buch, which is new to Britain, and an account of it appears on another page. Some other species noted were:

Pleuridium nitidum Pallavicinia Lyellii
Ditrichum cylindricum Cephalozia connivens, c. fr. (fruiting later
Dicranella cerviculata than usual, according to other records)
Dicranum majus Odontoschisma denudatum
D. Scottianum Bazzania trilobata
Ephemerum serratum Scapania umbrosa
Plagiothecium elegans

In the evening thirty-two members and a few friends assembled at the Eccleston Hotel for the Anniversary Dinner. Mr Sherrin presided, and members were fortunate in having as guests Sir Clive Forster-Cooper, Director of the Natural History Museum, and Dr J. Ramsbottom, Keeper of Botany.

After dinner, Dr Richards gave a brief outline of the origins and history of the Society, and welcomed the guests, both of whom spoke in reply. It was encouraging to hear from them that in subjects like bryology the Museum relied to a considerable extent on the activity and co-operation of amateurs, as did many other centres of botanical learning. Dr Ramsbottom added that he had been asked to convey the greetings and good wishes of the British Mycological Society, which also was celebrating its 50th birthday that year.

Reference was made to the absence of Dr S. Wyard, whose fatal illness caused his death a few days later. He had been doing valuable preliminary work for the Meeting until only a month or so previously, and his loss was greatly felt. Among those thanked amidst applause was Prof. J. Else. For each person present he had decorated a menu card with coloured drawings, which combined bryology, art and humour in an admirable way.


Annual Meeting 1947, Kirriemuir, 3-9 September

A long period of drought had preceded the Annual Meeting held in Kirriemuir, Angus (V.C. 90), so that when members assembled there on 3 September the prospects of good field work seemed unpromising. In the afternoon of the day of arrival some members walked out to the Loch of Kinnordy, now reduced to a marsh about two miles to the west of the town. This was the original locality for Dicranum undulatum but it was looked for without success. The formerly extensive fir-woods had been cut down during two world wars with the result that the whole character of the vegetation had changed. Miss Duncan informs us that the members who went on after the meeting to Edzell, twenty miles away, discovered the moss in pine woods near the village. It grew in fair abundance under forty-year-old Scots pine, in company with Goodyera repens, Trientalis europaea, Dicranum scoparium, D. majus, Plagiothecium undulatum and Hypnum Schreberi . Some stems were found to measure over five inches, equalling Continental specimens in size, but no fruit was seen. On the following day an excursion was made by motor coach to the Sidlaw Hills, in the south-east of the county. Lundie Craggs, a high cliff of red sandstone was the centre of interest, and members climbed the cliffs and explored Drumsuldry Wood on the summit and then traversing a wet heath on the northern slopes returned along the margins of Long Loch to Ardgarth. The weather in the morning was still fine, and the bryophytes were in an extremely desiccated condition, especially on the dry rocks of the cliffs, but rain began to fall in the afternoon and eventually members were driven to shelter, finally returning to Kirriemuir at about 5 p.m. The following plants were recorded: Andreaea crassinervia, Dicranella rufescens Leucodon sciuroides var. morensis, Hypnum giganteum.

On Friday an excursion was arranged for the purpose of examining the River Isla at the Den of Airlie, between Ruthven and Kirkton of Airlie. This stream flowing south out of Glen Isla is at this point flanked with well-wooded high banks. The low water afforded excellent opportunities for an examination of the rocks, boulders, and banks of the stream, and some interesting plants were collected. Dicranum scoparium was frequent as an epiphyte on the alders overhanging the stream. Some members who had walked out from Kirriemuir early in the morning were rewarded by finding Lophozia Kunzeana * on the way. Other bryophytes collected were: Aplozia riparia var. rivularis, Chiloscyphus polyanthus var. rivularis *; Seligeria Doniana, S. recurvata, Fissidens crassipes *, Fontinalis squamosa, Pylaisia polyantha, Eurhynchium Teesdalei.

[* All records new to Angus.]

The party set out on the following day by motor coach along the beautiful Glen Clova. It had rained all night but the morning was hot and fine, and the berried rowans which lined the margins of the road and covered the lower slopes of the hills, glistened in the sunshine. Alighting at Millton of Clova, members commenced to climb up to Loch Brandy, by way of the streams which run out of the Loch. The Loch stands at about 2150 feet, with high cliffs of metamorphic rocks at the north-west end. These cliffs, the boulder screes, and scree slopes down to the margin of the Loch, provided habitats for many interesting bryophytes. The main party had split into small groups, so that the ground was well covered, and the whole of the afternoon was devoted to this area. Amongst the plants collected were: Gymnomitrium obtusurn, Lophozia alpestris, L. atlantica *, Chandonanthus setiformis var. alpinus; Distichium capillaceum, Rhabdoweisia fugax, Dicranoweisia crispula, Grimmia incurva, G. funalis, G. torquata, Fontinalis antipyretica var. gracilis, Pterogonium gracile.

No official excursion was arranged for the Sunday so that members could follow their own pursuits. Two parties, however, were formed, one to go to Glen Isla, and the other to Glen Prosen, in members' cars. The Glen Isla party proceeded as far as Tulchan by car, and then followed on foot the course of the River Isla to where it is fed by the streams from Caenlochan. At this point, the party ascended the slopes of the glen to the cliffs above the 3000 feet contour on the east side of Glas Maol. This classic ground provided some fine alpine bryophytes, as well as the sight of some rare phanerogams. Whilst the party was taking lunch they saw a large herd of red deer which passed down the glen and up the slopes of Caderg. The afternoon was spent working the ledges of the cliffs and the corries below, which yielded the following interesting bryophytes: Lophozia alpestris, Bazzania tricrenata; Distichium capillaceum, Campylopus Schimperi, Dicranum fulvellum, D. Starkei, Barbula recurvirostra var. ruberrima, Anoectangium compactum, Zygodon lapponicus, Meesia uliginosa, Bartramia Halleriana Plagiobryum Zierii, Bryum Duvalii, Pseudoleskea catenulata, Hypnum callichroum, H. ochraceum.

The Glen Prosen party went to Old Craig by car and then walked up the glen. In contrast to Glen Clova there are comparatively few crags and most of these were visited. The main object was the finding of the fern Athyrium flexile of which Glen Prosen is the type locality, but it was not found. Cynodontium Jenneri was collected.

On Monday a whole day was spent exploring the Sands of Barry, near Carnoustie. This area of sand dunes and sandy heathland proved very interesting. In the damp slacks the hepatic Moerckia Flotowiana was seen in some quantity, together with Aneura sinuata var. major. Other bryophytes noted were: Distichium inclinatum, Bryum Warneum, Brachythecium salebrosum var. palustre.

On the last excursion the members once again went to Glen Clova, but on this occasion the party left the bus at the northernmost end of the Glen and proceeded to follow the South Esk to a point where the Fee Burn joins it. From thence the route lay along the boulder-strewn course of the burn to the cliffs and conies on the north east of Mayar. Rain began to fall steadily before midday, but this did not dishearten the enthusiasts, who continued their examination of the Fee Burn area. The rain and wind increased in intensity as the day went on, and gradually members made their way back to the waiting bus at the end of the Glen. Plants collected during the day included: Radula Lindbergiana; Saelania glaucescens, Weisia calcarea *, Oedipodium Griffithianum, Orthothecium rufescens, Hypnum molle.

Angus is a county which has been well worked by the early botanists, so it was not anticipated that many new plants would be recorded. Nevertheless, some interesting additions have been made to the list, and Miss Duncan, who is engaged in the preparation of the bryological part of a new Flora of Angus, will be glad to receive lists of plants collected in the county. The great success which attended the excursions was due to the careful planning and leadership of Miss Duncan, to whom the best thanks of the meeting were accorded at the Annual General Meeting held in the Airlie Arms Hotel, Kirriemuir, on Friday 5 September.

At this meeting the rules of the Society were revised and approved by those present. Officers of the Society gave their reports on the progress and activities during the past year. The Officers of the Society for 1948 were duly elected and a list will be found elsewhere in the Transactions. Dr P. W. Richards proposed that the best thanks of the Meeting be accorded to the retiring Secretary, Mr A. Thompson, for his past work in this office. The Editor of the Transactions thanked all those members who had helped in various ways in the production of the Transactions, and asked that the Printing Fund be continued in order to assist the finances of the Society. Following a report given by Dr E. F. Warburg on the work of the subcommittee which was appointed at the previous meeting, valuable discussions took place regarding the revision of the Census Catalogues. Messages of greeting were sent to Miss E. Armitage and Mr J. B. Duncan, the two Honorary Members who were elected at the last Meeting in Appleby. It was proposed to hold the next Annual Meeting and Excursion at Buxton Derbyshire, in April, under the leadership of Mr R. H. Hall.


Spring Meeting 1948, Buxton, April

No centre better than Buxton could have been chosen for exploring the limestone and gritstone country of Derbyshire and no Excursion Secretaries more diligent than Messrs R. H. Hall and F. A. Sowter could have been wished for. Those who assembled at the Brunswick Hotel at the beginning of April have memories of a very pleasant week's meeting.

The first excursion was to the edge of the Kinder Plateau by way of Edale and Grinds Brook. Unfortunately the weather was atrocious and hardly conducive to careful bryology. Amongst the few interesting plants seen, Oligotrichum hercynicum, Lophozia Floerkii and Alicularia scalaris var. procerior may be mentioned. On the following day, reinforced by several more arrivals, members walked from the head of Ricklow Dale down into Lathkill Dale, a most pleasant and fruitful day in contrast to the preceding one. The limestone rocks at the head of Ricklow Dale bore a rich flora of rupestral bryophytes, amongst which Tortula muralis var. rupestris, Trichostomum brachydontium var. cophocarpum and the calcicolous Scapania aspera were noted. Lower in Ricklow Dale and in Lathkill Dale were seen Pottia recta, P. bryoides, P. lanceolata, Weisia controversa, Funaria calcarea, Orthodontium gracile var. heterocarpum, Plagiobryum Zierii, Bryum roseum. Mnium stellare and Neckera crispa var. falcata. Amongst the liverworts members saw Lophozia quinquedentata, Scapania aequiloba and the two remarkable little calcicolous hepatics Cololejeunea calcarea and C. Rossettiana the latter recorded for the first time from Lathkill Dale. Near Over Haddon a curious attenuated form of Porotrichum alopecurum was found submerged in a spring issuing from the limestone, but most notable of all, perhaps. was the re-finding of the beautiful Fontinalis antipyretica var. cymbifolia in a disused mill-stream, in which the water was hardly moving. Although recorded here some years previously, the precise locality of this latter plant had been lost and it had not been hitherto re-established.

Continuing the exploration of the limestone country, the next day was spent in Dovedale below the Viator's Bridge. Many of the limestone bryophytes were here seen in fine condition. Targionia hypophylla was detected at the foot of a limestone cliff, surrounded by a fine display of Hutchinsia petraea In the Dove Holes, Eurhynchium Teesdalei was collected. Amblystegium compactum was also admired there, but not collected, as it was in extremely small quantity. Nearby were Bartramia Oederi and Metzgeria pubescens. Fissidens pusillus, Phascum cuspidatum. Orthotrichum cupulatum var. nudum, Eurhynchium pumilum and Cololejeunea calcarea were also seen in the Dale.

The following day saw a return to the gritstone. Under threatening storm clouds members worked up Ashop Clough from the Snake Inn to the edge of the Kinder Plateau. A lax form of Oligotrichum hercynicum was observed in a tunnel by the path and Hypnum ochraceum occurred fairly abundantly on rocks in the streams. Hypnum fluitans and Scapania undulata were seen in fruit. Amongst mosses on the peat were Dicranella cerviculata and Orthodontium gracile var. heterocarpum , the latter in such abundance that it was difficult to realise that it was once a rare plant. Miss Duncan was able to record several interesting Sphagna, amongst which Sphagnum squarrosum var. subsquarrosum and S. subsecundum var. intermedium were new to V.C. 57. Amongst other mosses seen were Webera carnea, Hyocomium flagellare and Hypnum stramineum , and amongst hepatics, Alicularia compressa, A. scalaris var. distans (new to V.C. 57) and Aplozia riparia .

The next day, being Sunday, was one of private excursions. In the morning Amblystegium filicinum var. trichodes was seen near Buxton. After lunch a small party visited Cressbrook Dale, to make what was almost a pilgrimage to the locus classicus of Porotrichum angustifolium . This curious plant was found in fine condition and quite distinct from the surrounding Porotrichum alopecurum . Nearby were Weisia calcarea and Amblystegium Sprucei , and in the crevices of rocks Seligeria Doniana and S. acutifolia var. longiseta . At the entrance of this Dale Dicranum montanum was detected on the roots of an ash, a new record for V.C. 57.

The final excursion was to Monks Dale. Once again there was the rich assemblage of calcicolous species. A bank of damp calcareous tufa yielded fine material of Amblystegium Sprucei and Weisia calcarea. Other mosses seen included Seligeria acutifolia var. longiseta, Fissidens crassipes, Barbula revoluta, Leptodontium flexifolium Weisia tortilis and Hypnum uncinatum. Seligeria tristicha has been recorded for this Dale, but it was not refound.

On the following day the meeting ended and members left the inhabitants of Buxton marvelling at their eccentricities, while they dispersed after a most profitable and enjoyable week.


Annual General Meeting 1948, London, 1-3 October

On the afternoon of Friday, 1 October, nearly thirty members assembled in the board room of the British Museum (Nat. History), where previous meetings in London have been held through the good offices of Dr J. Ramsbottom, Keeper of the Department of Botany. Dr P. W. Richards opened the proceedings with a talk about his experiences with Dr E. W. Jones and Mr J. P. M. Brenan in tropical West Africa entitled 'Bryological Impressions of Nigeria and the Cameroons'. This was illustrated by lantern slides showing rain forest and mountain scenery; noteworthy bryophytes referred to in the course of the talk were exhibited on a side table. Dr Jones who had devoted special study to the hepaticae was unable to be present as hoped. Those who know Dr Jones's keen eye in the field will not be surprised that he found a species of Nanomitrium in West Africa!

After an interval for tea, Dr D. G. Catcheside gave a lecture on the cytology of Hepatics, explaining and illustrating the general principles involved.

He showed how many closely allied and critical species can be differentiated by the aid of results obtained from cytological research and gave as examples British species from the genera Riccia, Nardia, Calypogeia and Frullania etc. It is evident that there is much scope for original research on the lines described in elucidating taxonomic problems.

Saturday, 2 October, was a very fine autumn day, and the field excursion on the pine and heather covered commons about Wisley Lake in Surrey was very successful.

The most noteworthy find was Dicranum undulatum seen in two small areas, the first notice in Surrey for over thirty years. Most members present had not seen this in the field before, though it was seen in Angus by a few members during the Kirriemuir meeting in 1947. Close by on the site of a drained pond Fossombronia foveolata (Dumortieri), Riccardia sinuata var. major occurred, the former in great quantity. There was much of Atrichum tenellum too, but the minute Nanomitrium tenerum found here the previous autumn, was not to be seen.

A peaty roadside bank yielded Tritomaria exsectiformis and across the Portsmouth road Dicranum spurium was found as expected amongst heather. A low peaty area carried much Mylia anomala, Lepidozia setacea and other species that delight to creep amongst Sphagnum. Later, after tea, Odontoschisma denudatum was noticed near the lake and extensive sheets of Drepanocladus fluitans . Other plants of general interest were observed.

The following day a small party spent a few hours on Boxhill, well known for its rich calcicolous bryophyte flora, probably the finest anywhere on the chalk. Noteworthy plants were Tortula mutica, Cinclidotus mucronatus, Scleropodium caespitosum on boles of trees by the River Mole at the foot of the steep western escarpment, and Eurhynchium striatulum (N.C.R. for V.C. 17) on tree roots just above. Elsewhere in turf, Pleurochaete squarrosa, Tortella tortuosa, Thuidium hystricosum, T. philiberti, Entodon orthocarpus, Scapania aspera and Frullania tamarisci were seen. On rotten wood in a copse Dicranum strictum grew profusely, with Thuidium tamariscinum, Brachythecium purum and Cirriphyllum piliferum all bearing immature fruit.


Annual Meeting 1949, Bangor, 10-16 September

The Annual Meeting this year was held in Bangor, with University College of North Wales as the centre, through the kindness of the Principal and Prof. Thoday of the Department of Botany. Several of the excursions took members into the Snowdonia region of the proposed National Park of North Wales, and others to the proposed Conservation area of the coast of Anglesey; visits which impressed upon those present the need for the conservation of the natural wealth of these areas for bryological reasons apart from the more obvious considerations.

On the evening of 10 September the meeting opened with an exhibition of specimens and maps of botanical and local interest in the Department of Botany. Of particular interest were a geological map of the region illustrating the areas to be visited, draft ecological survey maps of central Caernarvonshire by Dr N. Woodhead, experimental cultures of Splachnum ampullaceum, an exhibit of interesting local bryophytes including Riccia Beyrichiana, a new V.C. record for Anglesey (52), and the Society's collection of photographs of members.

The Sunday was a free day but the Excursion Secretary, Mr W. S. Lacey, kindly arranged to show members around Bangor in the morning, and to lead a party in the afternoon to visit Church Island in the Menai Straits. The Island was very dry but several interesting bryophytes and lichens were seen just above high-water mark. including Trichostomum mutabile var. littorale, T. flavovirens, Pleurochaete squarrosa and Madotheca Thuja. Hypnum stellatum var. protensum, a new V.C. record, was found on limestone on the Caernarvon side of the Straits.

On the second day the party was taken to Llyn Ogwen, from where the climb was made to Glyder Fawr by way of Llyn Idwal and the Nameless Cwm. Above Llyn Idwal Tetraphis Browniana was found in a rock crevice in fruit. Cololejeunea microscopica, Harpalejeunea ovata and Weisia calcarea (new to V.C. 49) were also seen in Cwm Idwal, and in the same area Miss Duncan added two Sphagna to the V.C. records - Sphagnum auriculatum var. canovirescens and S. recurvum var. robustum. The members who reached the Nameless Cwm found among other interesting bryophytes Andreaea crassinervia, Zygodon lapponicus, Campylopus Schwarzii, and Hypnum callichroum. After a stiff scramble. the top of the ridge joining Glyder Fach to Glyder Fawr was reached, but owing to low cloud only transitory views were obtained. The top of the Glyders was poor bryologically. The descent was made to the north-west via Llyn y Cwn where Fontinalis Dixoni was seen in some quantity. In the pool above the Devil's Kitchen Miss Duncan collected Sphagnum auriculatum var. submersum, another new V.C. record. On the way down the scree to reach the lower end of the Devil's Kitchen Scapania ornithopodioides was found between the blocks. Bartramia Halleriana and Orthothecium rufescens were also seen in this locality.

On 13 September the island of Anglesey was visited. Newborough Warren being the first area to be examined. This proved to be very dry, and therefore the bryophytes which would normally be found in the many slacks had been covered by blown sand. It was not until a stream was found flowing out over the sand that any bryophytes of interest were seen. These included Hypnum Wilsoni, Petalophyllum Ralfsii, and Moerckia Flotowiana. On the way back to Newborough village Grimmia subsquarrosua and Madotheca Thuja were seen on the rock outcrops. The party then moved on to Llyn Coron and the fixed dunes by the Afon Ffraw which were thickly carpeted in the damper flat areas with Selaginella selaginoides, amongst which were found Preissia quadrata and Petalophyllum Ralfsii. Meesia trichoides and Catoscopium nigritum were also found here with capsules. On the return journey. Hypnum cordifolium was found on Malldraeth Marsh amongst Eriophorum angustifolium and also Physcomitrella patens which is a new record for Anglesey.

Snowdon itself was the chosen field for the next day's collecting. The size of the area and the varying energy requirements for the different ascents caused the party to break up, thus rendering a complete report impossible. Llyn Du'r-arddu was the hunting ground of one group who searched for 'Grimmia andreaeoides'. This party found G. atrata and G. elongata. Another group went to Llyn Llydaw where Alicularia compressa was found in its typical and aquatic forms, and also Andreaea Rothii var. falcata above the lake. Gymnomitrium alpinum was seen by the Pig Track, and a group which penetrated into Cwm Glas from the Pig Track by way of Dinas Mot recorded Rhacomitrium ellipticum, Plagiobryum Zierii, Bartramia ithyphylla, Metzgeria hamata, and Herberta adunca. The basic lava outcrops in Cwm Glas were well marked by the presence of such mosses as Trichostomum crispulum, T. tortuosum, and Neckera crispa.

The south-east corner of Anglesey was the objective for Thursday's excursion. Llandegfan Common proved to be very interesting as shown by the following new V.C. records which were established: Pleuridium axillare, Ephemerum serratum, Sphagnum inundatum var. lancifolium, and S. auriculatum var, canovirescens. Riccia Beyrichiana and Fossombronia Wondraczeki, recently recorded for Anglesey, were also seen here. Chiloscyphus pallescens was found near Beaumaris Reservoir - a new record, as were also Fossombronia pusilla, Cephaloziella elachista and Sphagnum papillosum var. normale collected from Llanddona Common near Traeth.

The last excursion was to the thickly wooded and sheltered Afon Rhaiadr fawr above Aber. This was a pleasant contrast to the dry Anglesey scene and the wind swept ridges and cols of the mountains. Above Pont Newydd the shaded river was followed for some way until the gorge became too deep and narrow to remain below. In this part were found Trichocolea tomentella covering stones in a small rill, Fissidens curnowii with antheridia and capsules, F. crassipes (new record for V.C. 49), Fontinalis squamosa, and Nowellia curvifolia. Near the Small Falls Hygrohypnum lusitanicum was seen with Hypnum ochraceum; Cololejeunea calcarea was also found here. On the scree between the Small and Large Falls Leptoscyphus Taylori and Anastrepta orcadensis occurred together in quantity, and also Bazzania tricrenata, and Cynodontium Bruntoni on a rock. Hypnum dilatatum was found at the Large Falls, where also a cushion of Breutelia arcuata bearing several capsules delighted the party. Ephemerum serratum, Sphagnum squarrosum var. imbricatum, S. inundatum var, eurycladum, and S. amblyphyllum var. mesophyllum were added to the V.C. records from this area.

The week was a great success due to the excellent organization by Mr W. S. Lacey, who was helped to no small extent by Mr R. E. Parker of University College, Bangor, and by the weather over which they seemed to have an equally efficient control


Copyright © British Bryological Society .