By Tessa Carrick
If you would enjoy peering through a hand lens at the teeth along the edge of the leaves of a minute moss or working out the structure of a tiny leafy liverwort, then come along and join the informal WWT bryophyte group. Many mosses and leafy liverworts are extremely beautiful when looked at closely. And, there's nothing like being able mutter incantations of their names - Thuidium tamariscinum, Fissidens taxifolius, Frullania diliata or Plagiochilaporelloides. Everyone is welcome.
The group sprang up out of the one-day introductory mosses and liverworts course last spring. None of the group is really expert - indeed, most are complete beginners but some are a bit more knowledgeable and have more time to follow things up than others.
What do we do? We've visited Chaddesley Woods and Hartlebury Common and have plans for a New Year trip to the Malvern area. We've also arranged an indoor day so that we can work together identifying species. There's a serious side to our work, because bryophytes are very much under-recorded in Worcestershire. Even records of common species are useful and slowly we hope to build up our confidence so we can identify more unusual species.
Our outings so far have involved looking intensively at bryophytes for the morning, a picnic lunchand then a general walk around the site for those who want to stay.
Several people have also joined in activities of the Border Bryologists organised by Mark Lawley from Ludlow and have attended bryophyte Field Studies Council courses. With Mark and his fellow Border Bryologists we've visited Hanley Dingle and Hunthouse Wood. We hope that we'll slowly build up expertise as a group and will help each other through those despondent feelings that we're not making any progress.
In March, there will be another introductory day which is nearly fully booked.
If you are interested in getting to know a new group of organisms, come along and join us. Youmight soon find yourself one of Worcestershire's main moss and liverwort specialists!
Enquiries to: Tessa Carrick, E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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