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U3A Botany Group - July 2018 (3)

by Peter Slater - 20:40 on 01 August 2018

Botany Group visit to Glims Moss, near Dounby, 31st July 2018 by Peter Slater

The original intention of this outing was to visit the area round the Click Mill, near the road from Dounby over to Evie, but John arrived early and did a brief recce which suggested little of botanical interest as well as various fences likely to prove insuperable. We therefore decided to visit Glims Moss instead. This is a SSSI, consisting of a raised bog on the other side of the road and a bit further back towards Dounby from the Click Mill. It is an area that would normally be pretty wet but, given the recent very dry weather, there was little standing water visible and no need for boots. Indeed much of the sphagnum moss looked dead, though this was deceptive as burrowing into it showed it to be damp with green shoots, the blanket of dead material doubtless acting to cushion it from drying out. The dryness created no problems on foot, though the lack of paths meant some substantial humps and tussocks had to be negotiated. For one reason or another many group members had not been able to come, and all the three present managed fine, the least able with the aid of a walking stick. Thanks largely to John’s expertise we were able to identify a wider variety of plants than usual, including several grasses and sedges, as well as quite a number of plants not featured on our earlier lists, partly because this was our first trip to a large area of heath. In addition to the plants recorded we spotted a nice male hen harrier and a large red damselfly.

Plants recorded: arctic eyebright, devil’s bit scabious, knotted pearlwort, sneezewort, red clover, hogweed, ling, heath-grass, mat-grass, bell heather, meadowsweet, tormentil, crowberry, daisy, butterwort, angelica, spear thistle, lesser St John’s wort, white clover, sorrel, common cottongrass, bog asphodel, sphagnum moss, cross-leaved heath, round-leaved sundew, blueberry, hare’s-tail cottongrass, marsh cinquefoil, bog potamogeton, bogbean, marsh willowherb, marsh pennywort, ragged robin, viviparous fescue, star sedge, mouse-ear hawkweed,  slender heath eyebright, ragwort sp., bird’s foot trefoil.

The blasted heath

Mouse-ear hawkweed

Discussing ragwort identification

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