Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Mosses for Beginners at Ribblehead Churchyard - 24 May

If you've seen the advert for the "Ultra-Beginners Mosses Workshop" at St Leonard's churchyard on the afternoon or 24 May you may be wondering where it is, what you have let yourself in for, and can your cope? -

Yes of course you can cope - It will be lots of fun.

1.) Where is it?

Conocephalum (conicum) salebrosum
Great scented Liverwort / Snakewort
 - a thallose liverwort
at the entrance to the churchyard
Hidden in the trees, next to a dried up stream with mosses covering the river bed, a mile down from Ribblehead,  lies St Leonard's Church with its bryophyte-rich churchyard.

This is a secret, sheltered spot compared to the windswept  hills of Ingleborough and Whernside above.

And it is full of history:
Many of the workers, who built the Ribblehead viaduct (1870-1874) 140 years ago of the Settle Carlisle Railway Line and lived at the shanty town at Ribblehead 1 mile away, found their final resting place here: People who died from injuries or from diseases. It is also on the Roman road.

Over 50 species of bryophytes (mosses and liverworts) have been found here. Some on the gravestones made of different rocks. Some on the church roof: Some on the limestone walls; Some on the tree bark. Some on the grassland below the trees.

But we won't be studying all 50. We'll all be beginners so we'll concentrate on a dozen or so of the big bold bryophytes - with fun names to learn. They have English names for them now .. which makes it a lot easier.

Names like Great Scented Liverwort  (also called Snakewort.). That's the big one that grows on the ground just before you enter the lynch gate.

Let's look at it here more closely with a hand lens (I'll bring plenty so that you can borrow one, )

Can you see why it is sometimes called Snakewort?

It will be fun meeting other people.

On 24 May Judith Allinson (that's me)  and Mike Canaway will be running a "Mosses for Beginners" workshop here. this is part of the Ingleton Overground Underground Festival. from 2pm to 4pm. Places cost  £10 (children £1-00)  and this includes a cup of tea and biscuits and some handouts, and handlenses can be borrowed/bought..
The Yellow Fringe - moss
(Racomitrium aciculare)
 on the acid rock of a
benchlike tombstome.

Please book your place email   See  Transport can be provided shared by meeting at Ingleton Community Centre at 1.30pm.

Here are took some pictures last August and January. - I hope I will have opportunity to take some more on a sunny day before May 24th.

See pictures of similar mosses events in previous years

Seen closeup

Bank Haircap  - Polytrichastrum formosum on the flags of the church roof.

Plagiomnium undulatum - Hart's-tongue Thyme-moss

We're having a break and looking at a lichen here.

Anomalous Bristle-moss - Orthotrichum anomalum

I am grateful to the Church Council for allowing us to use and look in the plants of their churchyard.

Come and test out your skill at seeing the difference between different magical mosses.

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