Border Bryologists 2014

Mark Lawley

Meetings January to March 2014.

Our meetings are to help beginners learn their mosses and liverworts, rather than high-powered recording sessions. All are on Sundays, and start at 10.30 a.m unless stated otherwise. Please bring sandwiches.

You may wish to bring with you a copy of the British Bryological Society’s Mosses and Liverworts of Britain and Ireland: a Field-guide (2010), files for which are also on-line at (or click on the book cover of the Field-guide on the left-hand side of the BBS web-site’s home page at and follow the links).

You are very welcome to suggest venues for future outdoor meetings; please include grid references and details for parking.

January 19th

Jonathan Sleath will lead us at Cherry Hill Camp (an Iron-age hill-fort) and Fownhope Park Wood, Fownhope, Herefordshire, where ancient semi-natural woodland overlies calcareous Silurian rocks. Park in the village of Fownhope, and meet at SO 577347 by the side of the road that leads to Woolhope.

February 14-16th

This weekend bridges the gap between our one-day meetings for local bryologists and the BBS’s traditional week-long field meetings, and offers an opportunity for local naturalists who may find it difficult to commit the time taken up by the Society’s longer meetings to meet experienced bryologists from further afield, and to improve their bryological skills in the company of BBS members. In turn, bryologists visiting Shropshire from other parts of the country will enjoy the opportunity to see uncommon species that may not occur on their home patches. The meeting is open to beginners and experts alike. Please let me know in advance if you intend coming to this meeting, and note that each day’s adventures start at 10 a.m. (not 10.30 a.m.).

The meeting will be based in Ludlow, and details of various types of accommodation available locally can be obtained from Ludlow Tourist Information Centre (email: or Tel: 01584 875053). I can offer bed and breakfast without charge at my home for up to two people who would like to come on the meeting but cannot easily afford serviced accommodation away from home (e.g. students or unemployed).

Ordnance Survey Landranger 137 covers Titterstone Clee Hill and the Long Mynd. Explorer map 203 covers Titterstone Clee Hill, and 217 covers the Long Mynd.

We will follow the programme outlined below if the weather is clement, but may need to divert to more sheltered, low-lying venues if the weather is poor.

Friday February 14th

I will be at The Nelson Inn from 8 p.m. until about 10 p.m. We can firm up the weekend’s programme in light of the forecast, and perhaps also rationalise transport for driving to the Long Mynd on the following day.

The Nelson is a traditional beer-house that serves excellent draught beer, and a limited menu of hot food in the evenings. It offers B&B, and lies on the outskirts of Ludlow, but within walking distance of the town at SO 524757 on the Kidderminster/Clee Hill road (A4117), about 100 yards east of the A49 bypass.

Saturday February 15th

Meet at 10 a.m. in the car park (SO 456955) at the bottom of The Batch just west of All Stretton. From there we will walk up Nover’s Hill to see Jamesoniella undulifolia Barbilophozia kunzeana, and possibly Scapania paludicola in the little mire near the top of the hill. Grimmia montana also grows in small quantity on rock nearby, and we may see Schistostega pennata lurking in disused rabbit burrows.

In the afternoon, we will explore a flushed valley on another part of the Mynd. If enough experienced members attend the meeting, I’d like to see what expert bryologists can discover by closely examining one or two selected flushes. Jamesoniella undulifolia Barbilophozia kunzeana, and Scapania paludicola are all known from other flushes on the Mynd, along with other notable species such as Cephalozia pleniceps, Leiocolea bantriensis, Sphagnum platyphyllum and S. subsecundum. Can we find new sites for these and/or other as yet undiscovered species?

Sunday February 16th

Meet at 10 a.m. in the car park near the top of Titterstone Clee Hill (SO 593776). Block scree on the western side of the hill (to the north of the car park) holds prodigious quantities of Grimmia incurva, along with more modest amounts of Rhabdoweisia crispata and Tetraplodon mnioides. Circling clockwise round the hill and down on to the hill’s eastern flank we may find Gymnomitrion obtusum, and one or two flushes may also repay inspection.

March 16th meeting with Worcestershire Moss Group

Meet with the Worcestershire Moss Group at Hollybed Farm, Chandler’s Cross near Welland, between Castlemorton Common and Hollybed Common. The farm is a nature reserve of the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust: damp, shady valley with a stream and marshy patches, SSSI grassland, old orchard and hedges. Park on the roadside verge by a gate into a field at SO 779382.

For more information contact

Mark Lawley, 12A Castleview Terrace, Ludlow SY8 2NG. Email:

Now available:

The mosses and liverworts of Shropshire

by Mark Lawley (2013)

133 pages, illustrated, including:

a bryological travelogue of good localities

changes to the county’s bryoflora

annotated checklist of species

Shropshire’s bygone bryologists

Available @ £19.95 including P&P from

Mark Lawley, 12A Castleview Terrace, Ludlow SY8 2NG

Please make your cheque payable to ‘Mark Lawley’.