Monday 31 July 2023

Nipstone Rock, Day 2 Afternoon of the British Lichen Society field meeting in Shropshire

Following on from the morning visit to Bog Mine near the Stiperstones of Wed 12 July 2023

We parked at SO35629706 1/2 km south of Bog Mine that we had visited in the morning. Through the gate was a signpost up to Nipstones. 
This is an outlier of the Stiperstones. This area had been planted with conifers in the 1960s, but now a project Back to purple had started returning it to heathland. We met a lady collecting bilberries with a bilberry comber.

This lichen covered post pointed up the hill

There was a lizard at the foot of this post.

And lichens on the post

We examined the lichens on the post.

Then set off up the slope to the Nipstone - in the next monad -  SO35689699
The tor is made of quartzite and is 480 million years old

On the vertical side of this tor we found a very dark Parmelia - it had very few white pseudocyphellae and was much flatter on the rock than is Parmelia omphalodes. It is Parmelia discordans. Is medulla does not turn red with bleach as does that of P omphalodes.

Parmelia discordans 

Parmelia discordans

Parmelia discordans

Parmelia omphalodes


Umbilicaria polyphylla

There was some yellow on the rock

We decided it was probably Xanthoria ucrainica

In some shaded place near the foot of the crag was Lepraria membranacea It has a deifinite edge to the thallus

The summit of Nipstone Rock - with North East Shropshire beyond.
It was pretty windy at my height on the rock - never mind the top

Xanthoparmelia mougetii

Xanthoparmelia mougetii



Setting off back down

See the Stiperstones beyond


Interesting that the only other places I have seen  Parmelia discordans and Xanthoparmelia mougetii in England was at the same place - near the Stainmore Pass with Les and Sue Knight.  (Seen them in Scotland also).

Will I go out tomorrow?  I have collected so many specimens - if I don't sort them out and read about them they will be wasted.  Perhaps it would be better to stay in the lab and sort them out...

See whether I go or not ...

One World Week, Settle Workshop on Money on 13 Oct & talk:

 The Charity One World Week  which coordinated events in Late October has closed. It recommends Global Education Week 13-19 Nov

However some places are still holding events in October: e.g. Settle, N Yorkshire: 13 October: Workshop on Money

Fri 13 Oct: Workshop on Money (incl supper). Facilitator: Lyndsay Burtonshaw (campaigner with the Faith in Action team at Friends House London.) Held at Settle Catholic Church. BD24 9RA

Settle Justice and Peace is holding a talk 
12 Sept: Talk: "Why we still can't afford the Rich" by Author Andrew Sayer.12 September, Victoria Hall, BD24 9DZ, 7.30pm. Organised by Churches Together Justice and Peace group

Sunday 30 July 2023

Settle Eco-Explorers 15-16 August 2023 10am-3pm for children aged 4 to 11 - must have an accompanying adult

 For children aged 4 to 11 - accompanied by an adult - 

Tuesday 15th August  is now fully booked. There are still several spaces available on Wednesday 16th.

We hope to meet again fortnightly after school at 4pm, most likely on Wednesday evenings (but this is open to negotiation)  Please get in touch if you are interested.

Wednesday 26 July 2023

Althea and the Settle Carlisle Line - Please keep the Settle Ticket Office Open

  The proposed closure of the Settle Railway Station ticket Office in 2023  reminds me how much Althea used it from 2010 onwards. (Skip  to the end of this post for the videos, especially singing ones.)

Setting off for Scarborough 2010

 Althea had a stroke in 2009 leaving her right side paralyzed. But with a wheel chair- a hoist  - and friends to help - including the staff at Settle Railway station - she took part in many events. She was an inspiration to many.

Althea is at peace now - her funeral was in 7th September 2021 

There is a foot bridge at Settle so we always needed the station master to take us across the line - either going out or coming back. 

If she were alive she would be joining in the campaign to keep the Ticket Office open. Not just for her own sake but for all the other people who benefit from asking questions at the office.

There are many many middle aged people and older people in Settle who could have a stroke in the next twenty years and would need a wheel chair. How will they be able to get across the line if there is no-one at the station to unlock the gates and let them across? Or help them to buy tickets to get to places?

We went to Scarborough (to a conference), to York (for the service when the Bradford Diocese went into the Leeds Anglican Diocese; to Carlisle to go shopping; to Penrith to visit her daughter: She loved travelling with Settle Voices at Christmas to Ribblehead to go singing on the train.

In 2010 she said about the Scarborough trip:

"I am so lucky to live in a town with a railway station, and that they kept the Settle Carlisle Line open" says Althea. "From Settle to Scarborough will take us nearly 3 hours." Althea, travelling in her new electric wheelchair, will be accompanied by friend Alison Crisp on the train. Meanwhile another friend, Judith Allinson will go by car carrying luggage and Althea's hoist needed to lift her from wheelchair to bed etc

Setting off for Scarborough 2010

8 Feb 2012: Read about our trip:-

Settle - Carlisle line - snow, hoar frost and shopping

Returning at 6 pm - a day well spent.


8 June 2014 : When the westernYorkshire Dioceses joined and all became Leeds Diocese.

See Althea at York Cathedral - bottom left

8 June 2014 Bishop  Nick greets Althea

Althea at Ribblehead station with Settle voices: 2017

Sweet Bells: Althea is singing with Settle Voices 10 Dec 2016 - This video show how staff are needed at the Settle station to help unload the refreshment trolley, and to supercise activities on the platform

Noel Noel

The Holly bears a berry (maybe the least good a video)

While Shepherds watched - at Ribblehead - excellent 

The ticket officer opens the gate to let passengers returning from Leeds cross the platform.. and listen to the music that awaits them  .. I'd like to stay awhile, on the Settle to Carlisle...

Sunday 23 July 2023

Let's Talk Local: Event Sunday 17 Sept 2023 at Settle

 Book the Date:- Sun 17 September.

at St John's Methodist Church 

More details will be added as we firm up the stalls.

I plan to make a book "Local Products sold in Settle"  .. by September 17th

This will replace the book I made c 30 years ago. I will ask each shopkeeper "Please can you tell me three local products that you sell."
Some - like the Glass Studio under the Town hall have lots of products made in/Giggleswick or nearby Settle (paintings, felt work craft work). 

For other shops I have to list products from further afield - The Coop has Cravendale Milk (from ARLA) after that it is Grandma Wilds  biscuits from Steeton  and Hughes Bakery at Shipley

If you have a shop in Settle that sells local goods that you would like to promote do let me know.
Shop.... Location Product....  Where produced
.. . .
Glass Studio...Under Town Hall Glass craft Under Town Hall
.. . .
.. . .
.. . .
Drake & Macefield Market Place Sausages Skipton
.. Meat Skipton
.. Milk Grassington
.. . .
The CoopBeside Market Place Cravendale Milk Settle
.. Grandma Wilds Biscuits... Steeton...
...Hughes Bakery  Shipley.
.. . .
Cottontail Crafts Duke St Clapdale Wool Clapham
....... ... ...
.. . .
.. . .
Wholesome BeeDuke Street Eggs Rathmell
....... Rinforest Cards photos of local flowers Langcliffe
.. . .
.. . .

Happy National Bog Day (23 July this year): Lichens on Bogs - four Lichenomphalia species

Happy National Bog Day

The fourth Sunday is July is National - nay  International - Bog Day.

So I am writing a blog post about a favourite genus - whose members grow on Bogs.: 


These are lichens which have a Cap Fungus (Basidiomycete) partner-  rather than the more usual cup fungus partner 

1. They look like little umbrellas with a dimple in. (Omphalina means belly button in Greek -  omphalos )

2. It is a surprise to learn that they are lichens not just fungi. (There are other fungi which look very similar which don't have the lichen association so take care! You do need a hand lens to see the thallus. But very close inspection with a hand lens reveals either little "globules/granules" or else little "squamules" at the base of these  lichens- which are a mixture of alga and fungus.

3. I've just discovered they are member of the Hygrophoraceae - i.e. waxcaps - so they now share in the mystique and magic of Waxcap Surveys 

4. They are so distinctive that relative beginners have a chance of recognising them. I remember being fascinated by a tiny yellow omphalinoid fungus up in the basic flushes and bog at over 3000 ft above sea level  below Glas Maol when teaching a grasses course with the FSC at Kindrogan  (centre sadly now closed) many years ago. Lichenomphalia alpina - sorry no picture just yet.

 There are four species of  Lichenomphalia -  given in "the Lichens of Britain and Northern Ireland" book.

 The first two below have a thallus that are globules- little green balls. The third has a thallus that are squamules that look like Normandina. The fourth is the yellow one mentioned above

1. Lichenomphalia velutina - found on Malham Tarn Bog - on a MTFC (centre sadly now closed) Lichen  course with Allan Pentecost - This one is quite rare. It has a red or dark brown cap. Thallus made of granules

(Now I also wonder if this is the one I found above Stainforth )

2. Lichenomphalia umbellifera Pale coloured cap, thallus made of granules

3. Lichenomphalia hudsoniana - also on Malham Tarn Bog. This has tiny squamules like Normandina. writes  about all the Ophalinoid fungi. lichenised or not here

1. Lichenomaphalia velutina - found on Malham Tarn Bog - 22 Aug 2015

Lichenomphalia velutina

2. Lichenomphalia umbellifera Pale coloured cap, thallus made of granules.

Lichenomphalia umbellifera growing in a flush on Whernside 16 /08/2017

We found this on the BLS spring meeting this year at Moffat.  Margaret dragged our little group back 1/2 a mile to see it in a curtain of wet sphagnum over a peat hag near Loch Skeen -It was only when we got back in the evening with the microscope we could see the tiny globules of the thallus growing in the Sphagnum.

The Lichenomphalia umbellifera is 1/3 of the way up and 1/3 of the way in from the right.

The Lichenomphalia umbellifera is still 1/3 of the way up and 1/3 of the way in from the right.

3. Lichenomphalia hudsoniana - also on Malham Tarn Bog. This has tiny squamules like Normandina.

Lichenomphalia hudsoniana - See the delightful squamules Malham Tarn Bog - 22 Aug 2015

Whilst here I will mention 

1. The Lichenomphalia I found beside Haw Beck above Stainfort in October 2021, .. Not sure if I ever sorted it out

and 2. the Loreleia postii - A little orange omphaloid fungus that has an association with the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha - on the steps up to Giggleswick chapel