Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Bryophyte Meetings 2016/17

Here are all dates for the coming bryophyte season. These meetings are open to everyone with an interest in bryophytes. The field meetings start at 10.30 and take as long 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. TheBBS field guide (Mosses and Liverworts of Britain and Ireland: a Field-guide 2010) is very useful and can be downloaded from  the BBS website. Please contact Uta ( or 07852 682 790), if would like to take part, and to organise car sharing.

Sunday, 30 October 2016
Field Meeting at Dimmings Dale, Staffordshire
The first meeting is a trip abroad! This site in Staffordshire is both a SSSI and a National Nature Reserve and promises good gryophyte hunting. This meeting is organised by MIDBRYG – The MIDlands BRYophyte Group – more information is available on the BBS website. The group has a Facebook page where meetings are advertised.
Parking will be at SK06254314 in the car park of "The Ramblers Retreat", which is quite a good tea shop for people arriving early, or a cake shop for when we have finished. Arrive and meet so we can leave promptly at 10:30 a.m. For more details please contact Karen Rogers ( – and please contact Uta (, if you would like to share lifts from Leicester.

Saturday 3 - Sunday 4 December 2016
Course: Introduction to Bryophytes at Leicester Botanic Gardens (Sat) and Charnwood Lodge (Sun): more information is available here.

Saturday, 21 January 2017
Course: “Brachythecium and Eurhynchium s.l. - the basics” at Leicester University Botanic Gardens  - fully booked

Sunday, 22 January
Course: 'Brachythecium and Eurhynchium s.l. - the basics' at Leicester University Botanic Gardens - due to high demand! Contact Uta ( if you are interested. See this flyer for further information.

Sunday, 22 January 2017
Field Meeting at Jubilee Wood (Charnwood Forest)
Jubilee Wood is part of the 'Beacon Hill, Hangingstone & Outwoods' SSSI and managed by Leicestershire County Council. It is ancient woodland which includes wet alder woodland as well as remnants of oak woodland on Pre-cambrian outcrops. The site was last surveyed for bryophytes in 1989.
Meet at SK51011650. Parking is on laybys along the woodland.

Saturday, 25 February 2017
Field Meeting at Cossington Meadows (Soar Valley)
Cossington Meadows Nature Reserve is a former quarry site in the river Soar floodplain managed by the Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust. The site is mainly managed by extensive grazing and much work to create shallow scrapes, ponds and reed beds has been carried out, where bare and wet ground should yield some interesting bryophyte records. Other habitats worth exploring are old hedgerows and mature riparian trees. Only a handful of records exist from this site.
Meet at SK59731308.

Saturday, 25 March 2017
Field Meeting at Stonesby Quarry (Jurassic Limestone)
SK 813250
This is part of a worked-out quarry on soft Jurassic limestone and contains some of the best remaining limestone grassland in Leicestershire. It is part of a SSSI and a nature reserve managed by the Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust. During the last bryophyte survey in 1993 notable species such as Seligeria calcarea and Weissia longifolia were found. Since then, a lot of conservation management has been carried out, including scrub removal and exposure of limestone bedrock, and it will be interesting to find out how this has influenced the bryophyte flora.
Details for parking will be sent out before the meeting.

Thursday, 26 January 2017
Wednesday, 1 March 2017
Wednesday, 29 March 2017
Indoor Meetings at Leicester University Botanic Gardens
The field meetings will be followed up by indoor meetings where we can use the microscopes and work together on the material collected in the field. Meet at 7 p.m. in the coach house of the Botanic Gardens.

Looking forward to seeing you

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Identifying mosses & liverworts: an introduction

Uta is repeating the beginner's course on bryophytes this year on 3-4 December. It is an excellent introduction to this widespread, varied and ecologically important group of plants.

Heath Star-moss, Campylopus introflexus, at Bagworth Heath
On Saturday, 3rd December, there is a taught course at the Botanic Garden, where you will be introduced to the wonderful world of bryophytes, including the use of the BBS identification key and how to use lenses and microscopes. You will also have the chance to explore different parts of the Botanic Garden to see some of the plants in their habitats.

On Sunday, 4th December, the class will meet in Charnwood Lodge Nature Reserve (details to be announced) and will spend the day exploring the rich flora of the area.

For further information about the course, download this leaflet in pdf format or in Word format. Although you cannot book a place on the course on-line just yet, if you are interested in the course, please email Uta.

The course is supported by the University of Leicester Botanic Garden and the Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust.