Friday, 9 August 2019

Caerdeon Botanical residential for Meirionnydd (VC48)

Friday 26th July

The Caerdeon residential botanical meeting has become a regular fixture of the Merionnydd Field Naturalists programme. It attracts many botanists of national calibre and there is the added attraction of being able to explore the little visited corners of this great vice-county.

So I joined the meeting with happy anticipation on Friday July 26th at the first botanical rendez-vous of Tanygrisiau, joining up with Sally Peacock, Mags Critterden and Phil Brown

We split into two teams taking either a high route or a low route through the tetrad. I accompanied Phil upon the higher transect and gradually we rambled up slope, bog and crag until we were not far from the summit. En route we found three clubmoss species including Lycopodium clavatum Stag's-horn Clubmoss, a section 7 species in the Environment (Wales) act.  A search of these higher crags surprisingly revealed some Achillea ptarmica or Sneezewort as well as more typical members of crag communities such as Phegopteris connectilus (Beech Fern) and Sedum telephium (Orpine)

Lycopodium clavatum Stag's-horn Clubmoss

 We then headed downwards to a broad shelf scattered with bog pools and islets finding Rhychospora alba  (White-beaked Sedge) and Sparganium fluctuans (Floating Bur-weed)

Bog Asphodel Islets

Sparganium fluctuans, Floating Bur-weed

We then decided to race for the Welsh Highland Railway train at the Dduallt stop, which took us via a large area of Myrica gale ( Bog Mrytle), a pool with Nuphar lutea (Yellow water-lily) and some patches of Hypericum elodea ( Marsh St John's-Wort).

We made it to the Dduallt halt with 4 mins to spare but the return trip via steam train gave a Victorian flourish to the day and one which accorded with our accommodation at Caerdeon.
Phil Brown and  Moelwyn Bach

Wales Highland Railway at Tanygrisiau station

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