Bryophyte recording - Long-leaved Flapwort

Why record bryophytes?

As part of the local biodiversity action plan we have identified the Yorkshire Dales National Park (YDNP) as an important stronghold for four nationally rare mosses and liverworts (bryophytes).

Aims of the project

To establish a baseline population of the critically endangered species long-leaved flapwort Jungermannia leiantha by systematically surveying historic sites. This is a very rare bryophyte in Britain with 18% of known sites being in YDNP, the most recent record dates from 1966 in the Woodland Trust woodland on the River Doe in Twisleton Glen near Ingleton. There is also a wider aim of increasing the amount of bryophyte recording in the National Park.

Achievements

Led by Yorkshire Naturalists Union bryophyte recorder Tom Blockeel, our first survey was undertaken on 1st December 2012 in an effort to re-discover this rarity. During the survey we recorded 111 species of bryophyte from woodland and gorge, with 8 regionally rare bryophytes recorded, including greater streak-moss Rhabdoweisia crenulata the only record for Vice County 64 and not recorded since 1960, and western brook-moss Hygrohypnum eugyrium a speciality of Twisleton Glen. Of particular interest was exuberant growth of sieve tooth-moss Coscinodon cribrosus recorded on an old quarry face; this moss is typical of slate cliffs on western coast and rarely recorded inland – indeed this is the only record for Vice County 64. Overall a great day out in an amazingly diverse woodland for bryophytes. Unfortunately long-leaved flapwort remains illusive; however we plan to return to explore further.

Who is involved?

The survey was facilitated by Gordon Haycock, Wharfedale Naturalists Society bryophyte recorder. Thanks are due to Woodland Trust, and volunteers who surveyed on the day including Robert Goodison of Natural England who organised special consent for this survey in a Site of Special Scientific Interest. More information on bryophyte recording in the Dales and opportunities to participate in field outings in Yorkshire and North West is available from Gordon.

There is a freshness and at times a undefineable fragrance to the air at high altitude in the Pennines. Joan E. Duncan & R.W.Robson

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