Monday, 13 January 2020

Bryophyte Meetings, Winter 2020

Saturday, 25 January 2020
Dimminsdale Nature Reserve and SSSI
This reserve in the far northwest of Leicestershire contains ca. 20 ha woodland in a former limestone and lead mining area with streams and large pools. While this area is already quite well recorded, the adjacent large acid grassland fields and a tree-lined stream are rarely visited and will be the focus of this visit.
Meet at the car park at SK378219.

Saturday, 29 February 2020
Launde Park Wood Nature Reserve
This reserve is an ancient woodland of which two-thirds have been clear-felled and planted in the past, especially with conifers, but much of the original vegetation still remains. Since taking over the management of the woodland, the Wildlife Trust has taken out most of the conifers and is restoring the ancient woodland. The last thorough survey of the woodland was carried out in 2000, and it would be good to get an update of the bryophyte flora as part of the attempt to record all reserves of Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust. The ultimate challenge is to find Rhytidiadelphus loreus which was last recorded at the beginning of the last century.
Meet at the entrance to the woodland at SK800033.

Saturday, 28 March 2020
Holwell Nature Reserves
This is an area of former ironstone quarries and includes bare rock faces, areas of grassland, secondary woodland and plantations, as well as marshes and streams. There is a good diversity of higher plants of limestone grassland and some unusual bryophyte species have been found in the past such as Dicranum majus, Tortula subulata and Aloina aloides.
Meet and park on the open triangular space where the road forks at SK741235.

Please contact Uta Hamzaoui (email or 07852 682 790) if would like to take part and to organise car sharing.

Monday, 24 December 2018

New Year Plant Hunt 2019 in Leicester

Leics NYPH team last year, all ready
to start hunting
Let's hope it's warmer and drier this year!
Image: Jerry Clough
It's almost time for the 2019 New Year Plant Hunt! Yes ok there's a little thing called Christmas to get out of the way first...

This year the national New Year Plant Hunt runs from Saturday 29th December 2018 to Tuesday 1st January 2019. We plan to hold a Leicester Hunt on Saturday 29th December, assembling at 12.00 midday outside Morrison's supermarket, Aylestone Rd./Freemen's Common, Leicester

The free car parking outside Morrison's should be more than adequate and the supermarket is easily accessible by public transport. The postcode is LE2 7LT, grid ref SK 58809 02857.

We plan to follow a route (see map on left, click on it to enlarge it) heading southwards from Morrison's onto Counting House Rd., crossing over onto Freemens Common Rd., turning westwards onto Putney Road West which we will follow until it joins Aylestone Road. Then back up Putney Road, south onto Commercial Square/Ealing Rd and west again onto Chiswick Rd.  

There is a cafe at Morrison's so the plan is to head directly back to the supermarket at this point (probably around halfway through) to take a break and warm up with a hot drink and some cake. Then we can all decide if we want to explore the eastern side of Freemens Common, or head further westwards to the area near the football ground, or call it a day.

Will we find as many blooming plants as last year, when we had the BBC Countryfile team recording our recording efforts and we spotted 43 species flowering? Who knows (although I recce'd the route a few days ago and found at least two dozen species in bloom) but we'll have fun and there will be cake!

Please reply to this address and let us know if you hope to join us for the Hunt on 29th December.

Merry Christmas to all VC55 botanists!

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Bryophyte Meetings 2018-19

Bryophyte Meetings
Winter 2018 to Spring 2019

Here are all dates for the coming bryophyte season. These meetings are open for everyone with an interest in bryophytes. The field meetings start at 10:00 a.m. and take as long as people are interested, and as weather conditions allow, so it is always best to bring a packed lunch. Apart from weatherproof clothes, it is useful to bring a hand lens (x10 or x20) and some paper packets or small containers for collecting specimens. The BBS field guide (Mosses and Liverworts of Britain and Ireland: a Field-guide 2010) is very useful - the Field Key can be downloaded from the internet. Please contact Uta Hamzaoui ( or 07852 682 790), if would like to take part and to organise car sharing.

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Great Merrible Wood Nature Reserve
Great Merrible Wood is an ancient woodland which is mostly managed with minimal intervention, and coppicing has been re-introduced in parts of it. Not many records exist from this site, but there is a variety of habitats such as old trees, some old coppice stools, ditches and streams, and it should be possible to find many interesting species, including epiphytes of course.
Meet at SP831958 and please park safely on the verge.

Saturday, 9 February 2019

Holywell Wood SSSI
This ancient woodland is owned by Loughborough University who have kindly given us permission for the visit. The university has set up six plots to carry out some research in the wood, and if we are lucky, Jon Millett, who is responsible for these, will be able to join us and explain the experiments.
Meet in the car park at SK511181. The entrance to the wood is at SK508182.

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Coombs Meadows Nature Reserve
This is one of the latest additions to LRWT's Nature Reserves. It consists of a number of small fields bounded by tall hedges on rather steep slopes. Some of the fields have been agriculturally improved but there are still springs and marshy areas as well as small streams. When the area was last surveyed for bryophytes in 1998, a good list was produced, which included rarities such as Riccia fluitans. which would be great to re-find.
Meet at SK775305 and please park safely on the verge.

Saturday, 6 April 2019

Tbc in 2019.

Indoor Meetings at The Old Mill, Leicestershire & Rutland offices
If there is enough interest, we will follow up the field meetings by indoor meetings, when we can use the microscopes and work together on the material collected in the field. Suggested dates are the Thursday after each field meeting, but this will be confirmed on the field meetings. They will be held at 7p.m. at the LRWT offices at The Old Mill, 9 Soar Lane, Leicester, LE3 5DE.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Fiedl Meeting at Brooksby

Our next field meeting will be held on Saturday, 25th August when we will record around Brooksby and Frisby on the Wreake, using some permissive paths that expire early next year. Meet by the footpath sign near the Brooksby College student car park at SK669162 at 10.30 a.m. Parking is limited but possible on the verge further north along Mill Lane at SK668164.

The paths cover three tetrads, SK61M, SK61S and SK61T, and we will record in all of them, but in a leisurely fashion with plenty of time to work on our ID skills. There is a good variety of late Asteraceae and aquatic plants in full flower, some of which may provide a basis for discussion.

The total walk will be 5-6 km. Access will be on public footpaths and public access land and will continue to around 3:00 p.m.There are no toilets available during this meeting and there is little cover. All food and drink will need to be provided and carried.

Booking is essential. If you would like to attend, please email Geoffrey or phone 07745 487766 to reserve a place.

Kind regards

Geoffrey Hall

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Meeting on Saturday 25 July Cancelled

In view of the continued drought and the high temperatures forecast for this week, we have decided to cancel the meeting organised for Saturday 29th July. We may organise a substitute meeting in autumn, otherwise the next meeting will be Saturday 25th August.

Geoffrey and Russell

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Field Meeting at British Gypsum, Barrow

Our next field meeting will be held on Saturday, 16th June at the British Gypsum Works, Barrow on Soar. The works are at the end of a 1 mile long drive off Paudy Lane between Seagrave and Barrow on Soar. Meet in the car park at SK595166 at 10.30 a.m. Please note that because of the size of the site and the one off nature of the opportunity to visit, the finish time is extended to 5 p.m.

The meeting will begin with a brief health and safety induction, and we will be escorted throughout our visit by Luke Menzel, Environmental Co-ordinator. This will be a unique opportunity to record in this otherwise inaccessible area, which includes the very interesting verges of Paudy Lane, a small lake and the wilder areas surrounding the works. We will record as much of monad SK5916 as we can, but in a leisurely fashion with plenty of time to work on our ID skills

Booking is absolutely essential and numbers are strictly limited. Please book by email to:


Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Field Meeting at Thurlaston

Our next field meeting will be held in and around Thurlaston, where we will record an under-recorded tetrad which needs some more records for Atlas 2020. The first thing to mention is that this will be Thurlaston Carnival Day! Parking and access to parking may be tricky, but free cream teas are advertised! We will try to
meet at the junction of Church Street and Normanton Close, Thurlaston, LE9 7TA (SP502990) on Saturday 9th June at 10.30. a.m. – c.15.00 p.m.

There are 212 taxa in the tetrad SP59E that gave not been re-found since 2000, so we hope to find some of them. We will record as much of the tetrad as we can, but in a leisurely fashion with plenty of time to work on our ID skills. There is a good variety of grasses now in full flower, some of which may provide a basis for discussion!

Access will be on public footpaths and public access land and will continue to around 3:00 p.m.
There are no toilets available during this meeting, but it is fairly quiet and there is lots of cover! All food and drink will need to be provided and carried.

Booking is essential. If you would like to attend, please email or phone 07594 302127 to reserve a place.

Kind regards
Russell Parry