Hampshire bryophytes

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BBS Southern Group meetings 2017/18

Regrettably I have not been able to put together an advance programme of meetings this winter, but as before, meetings will be arranged 2-3 weeks in advance and details sent to members of the group via e-mail. Due to the unpredictability of the weather, some meetings may be cancelled at short notice by e-mail. Please contact me (John Norton) if you want to come to a meeting or be added to the group mailing list.

All meetings start at 10.30 a.m. unless otherwise stated and most take place on Sundays. Wellington boots (as well as rainproofs, food, drink, etc.) are advisable for most meetings but stout walking boots may be preferable for those on dry or hilly ground.

If you are coming along to a meeting for the first time, please read the BBS health and safety information here.


Sunday 12th November: Whiteley Pastures, Hampshire. This Forestry Commission woodland is part of the Botley Wood complex, one of the best woodlands in Hampshire for vascular plants and proving to be quite rich in bryophytes, but has been little explored. In the area we will be visiting there is a good range of acidic to slightly base rich habitats, a stream and gravel tracks. We should see a good range of common woodland species, including Rhytidiadelphus loreus, Plagiochila asplenioides, Epipterygium tozeri and Homalia trichomanoides, plus ephemerals and Fossombronia on the muddy tracks. It should be a good opportunity for beginners to get to grips with the commoner pleurocarps.

Wellies are recommended, especially if it rains pior to the meeting, but walking boots may suffice if you prefer. Park near to the mini roundabout within the Whiteley Business Park at SU 535 092. Leave J9 of the M27 on the north side and take first right into the business park (onto Parkway), keep driving past the lake with fountain on the left, turn left at the roundabout to go north again, then you will come to the roundabout at 535092. Either turn left or go straight on and park on the roads near here. There is also parking on the approach to the roundabout. NB. All these roads are used by local workers and walkers for parking and seem to get very busy even on Sundays, so it may be necessary to drive around the block to find a space nearby. Assemble at the start of the track, just to the west of the roundabout, at SU 5350 0926. We will walk north from here.


Sunday 29th October: Wilverley Walk, New Forest, Hampshire. This was a joint meeting with the Wessex Bryology Group, led by Sharon Pilkington. Twelve of us met at the Wootton Bridge car park at SZ250997 and enjoyed a walk in pleasantly mild and occasionally sunny weather. We explored Sphagnum-rich valley mire and wet woodland habitats eastwards from Wootton Bridge for about 600m, but only had time to briefly look at the most interesting mineral-rich areas at the eastern end of the route, finding Sphagnum teres, S. subsecundum, Sarmentypnum exannulatum and Campylium stellatum here and also Scorpidium scorpioides before we reached this point. Another good find was Sphagnum angustifolium. The wet woodland follows a substantial stream running adjacent to the northern boundary of Broadley Inclosure. Highlights along here included Entosthodon obtusus, Riccardia palmata (2nd New Forest/Hampshire site), frequent patches of Lejeunea lamacerina and abundant Sciuro-hypnum plumosum, in addition to plentiful Ctenidium molluscum and Hookeria lucens. Bryologically, this could be one of the best stretches of riverine woodland in Hampshire.

In all we found 15 Sphagnums and identified 121 bryophyte taxa (including a few weeds on stonework of the bridge). Seven species were new to the 10km square (SZ29). The route map and provisional species list can be downloaded here (Excel spreadsheet).