Friday, 22 June 2018

30 Days Wild - Day 15 - Part-1 What do Nidderdale AONB Botany Volunteers discover today?

On 15th June we set off for Bank Cabin Wood, via the road to Harewell Hall.
Passing a wall with Klebsormidium crenulatum on the way 
 Bank Cabin Wood is a "SINC" site (Site of Imporance for Nature Conservation). We had lunch on the path through the bracken  (that had recently had some saplings planted in it), identifying grasses that grow on acid soil (and attempting to identify a willow-herb). there  were a few plants of Climbing Corydalis in the bracken.

Then we progressed down through the bracken to the stream. Here was woodland on wet acid soil - Alder and possibly Grey Willow.

Then we found a BIG sedge.
This is one of the participants scratching her head. I two was scratching mine.

It was big. Not big enough for  Carex pendula.
Not red enough at the leaf tips and based for Carex binervis, but awfully like it. Anyway Carex binervis grows on Heather moorland, and this place was rather too shady and damp for heather
Not shining yellow green enough for Carex vesicaria
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It is a tall tuft, growing amongst the Luzula sylvatica. The male and female heads show up against the black trousers. 

It turned out to be Carex laevigata - growing in exactly the habitat it should - damp woodland.

Carex laevigata

The sheaths and stems are much more sharply triangular than Carex binervis. Carex binervis does have a flat /tongue shaped tip of the inner-face of the sheath so is a bit similar this way.

Carex laevigata has a long acute ligule, whereas C binervis has a short one.

The dead leaves and scales at the base of the shoots are brown, not reddish orange as in C binervis
Here is a view I took the following day. We were in the valley below the mast
We also found some Carex pallescens - Pale sedge

Mentha verticillata - Whorled Mint (A cross between Mentha aquatica and Mentha arvensis)

Scutellaria galericulata -
Common skullcap - this has blue flowers


Finally an invertebrate -

Eriophyes laevis a gall on alder leaves caused by a mite

We had only tackled a tiny part of the site but had had a good day.

--I may write about the invasive plant Cotula alpina that I checked up on, "on the way home" later that day

The next day I would be going to Knaresborough to see the cave of St Robert....

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