Monday 22 October 2018

Bryophytes at Lower Knotts, Tosside

We had a great day at Lower Knotts Nature Reserve near Tosside with the NWNU North West Naturalists Union Lower Plants Group on 20 Oct 2018

To start off with...we had a base camp.. to which we returned for lunch!

This is a new reserve a mile south west of Tosside in the forest of Bowland.
The centre of the reserve is where two OS gridlines intersect so it contains the corners of four monads (1 by 1 km squares).


The area covered by the first monad is the area you see in the picture (plus a little more). We managed to record over 40 species of mosses and liverworts here. (I am waiting for Gordon and Mike' 's grand totals).
Mike showed us the Calypogeia arguta - a tiny liverwort with shining yellow green blobs of clusters of gemmae. It was growing on bare clay.soil near the bank of the stream.

 Calypogeia arguta -Knotched pouchwort. It took a lot of looking to see some bigger leaves (see centre) that look like the ones in the book.
This is Scapania nemorea - Grove Earwort. It has brown gemmae.
I remember finding that in Ingleton Glens in November 2014.

When we got down to Bond Beck we found lots of Homalia trichomanoides - we had found a tuft of that at Ingleton Glens too. It prefers a basic influence.

Here is a big Cladonia (and some Campylopus introflexus)

There was a big ash tree in SD 7753.
Underneath was a Horse mushroom Agaricus arvensis

A branch had a Perusaria like lichen - that went yellow then quickly dark orange with alkali.- still trying to identify it.



The sun is setting on this fine Autumn Day.

Thank you Stephanie, Mike, Gordon,  and Naomi.

Nosterfield Quarry Part 2: YNU Bryologists 13 Oct 2018

The Bryologists set off - complete with next generation - on 13 Oct 2018 at Nosterfield Quarry. The sand was deposited in a glacial lake. In one part the quarry company had had excavated down to the bedrock of magnesian limestone. We are the Bryology Section of the Yorkshire Naturalists' Union.
(See Part 1 for pictures of lichens fungi and higher plants)

This is Aloina aloides Common Aloe-moss with stiff rigid leaves held in a rosette - found on the floor of limestone quarries . as here on the magnesian limestone area

More searching revealed the nationally rare plant that we had hoped to find:  Aloina brevirostris Short-beaked Aloe-moss

Aloina brevirostris has much shorter leaves and a shorter beak.

Microbryum-waiting for a name for this -Blobby

Didymodon tophaceus -
Olive beard-moss

We had lunch in the area where the quarry had dug down to the magnesian limestone bedrock below the sand. In the foreground there is a tufa deposit where the water runs over the limestone - with Didymodon tophaceus.

After lunch we went into the planted woodland/ screen wind break behind. On a felled log of willow Steven found two shoots of Syntrichia papillosum - The leaves are about 1.5 mm long. Not bad going eh!

Nick then found some Syntrichia laevipila (Small Screw-moss) on another willow which I am sorry I missed

As we walked back along the old medieval boundary wall,

 (where there was abundant Syntrichia intermedia)

 we came across a tree

Where there was lots of Syntrichia virescens at its roots - and some Orthotrichum diaphanum ( bottom left) hair tips to leaves)

 Hmm! the last time I knowingly saw this was in the tarmac by the cattle grid at Kilnsey  in 2014

See more Syntrichia expeditions...

Carlisle Mosses - (Superb Syntrichia part 1)

Kilnsey Mosses (Superb Syntrichia part 2)

On the way home, a km south of the quarry I stopped off at the northern most  henge of the three prehistoric henges.  The Thornborough Henge has been described by David Miles of English Heritage as "the most important prehistoric site between Stonehenge and the Orkneys".  This one is covered by secondary woodland and both ground and trees are covered by ivy.

Thank you Tom, Stephen, Nick, Mark, Mike, Chris for an enjoyable day.
(See Part 1 for pictures of lichens fungi and higher plants)

Sunday 14 October 2018

Nosterfield Quarry - Part 1 - Fungi and lichens - 13 Oct 2018

Tarmac's Nosterfield Quarry Nature Reserve, north of Ripon and West Tanfield was the destination for the YNU Bryologists.

But on this Saturday I got a little side tracked onto lichens and fungi. (I will write a post on the Mosses next

Note the splendid patch of Peltigera rufescens at the foot of the entrance notice board.

This was pointed out to me by Mark Seaward who was delighted to find this.  He had made records on the site in July at the Bioblitz. But not noticed it then

The team

In July 2018 there had been a bioblitz with Chris Packham. - They  - Just being pipped to first place for total species recorded amongst 50 places holding bioblitzes over 24 hours that day in the UK, by another quarry site in the south of England

This species of dog lichen has red brown apothecia that are wider than long, and the upper surface is supposed to be slightly tomentose or scabrid. (woolly or rough). It grows on calcareous substrata.

Chris Pennock of Tarmac, told us about the geology. The sand was 80 percent sand - (rather than other grades of particles) because it had been laid down in a glacial lake - (rather than being deposits in river terraces). There is a display inside the visitor centre.

Peltigera rufescens

Coprinus atramentarius  was growing in the car park- 

Chris drove us to the far side of the lake, to the Magnesian Limestone area
Conical waxcap - Hygrocybe conica
In the distance (far distance, to the east, with telephoto lens) - is Sutton Bank

Here is White Spindles - Clavaria fragilis - the bottom half of each unit is translucent stem and the top half produces the spores. It was growing on the  area where magnesian limestone bedrock is being left to colonise into calcareous grassland.

The dog-lichen is Peltigera dactyla, but I wish I  knew the name of this brown grey fungus with white sinuate gills.

Are these maroon blobs along the edge or the lichen thallus the soralia to which the Peltigera keys refer?

There are actually 3 fungi growing within 2cm of each other on this bit of rotten stump. The dark purple one on the left is Ascocoryne sarcoides - Not sure about the other two.

Mike Wilcox introduced me to Brookweed - Samolus valerandi

Beside the ancient wall leading back to the center was some Ballota nigra -  Black Horehound. I had found the leaves of this with a group near Grewelthorpe the previous month.. and they definitely had the same smell. The leaves, not the group.

Now to the bryology..

Nosterfield Quarry Part 2: YNU Bryologists 13 Oct 2018