BRYOPHYTE CONSERVATION

My interest in bryophytes developed out of a need to be able to record them accurately as part of the JNCC Macrophyte Survey method. However it soon became clear that to be able to recognise the species which occur along rivers, I would have to be able to recognise the majority of UK species. This is partly because most bryophyte species will, at some stage, occur within the recording zone of rivers and partly because many species, particularly liverworts, are dependent upon fairly high levels of humidty such that even if they are not in any way aquiatic, they will often be more frequent within the humidity zones of rivers. I also quickly realised that because bryophytes are so critically depndent upon micro-habitat features, they provide more subtle indications of habitat character than do most vascular plants. Once I had familiarised myself with the riverine taxa and most of the common terrestrial taxa, it soon became clear that, a least until publication of the Field guide by the British Bryological Society, bryophytes were very under-recorded. Simply starting to document the bryophyte flora of areas near my home in Gloucestershire I began to add species to the county list and re-discover species which were thought extinct. This has, so far, resulted in publication of a Gloucestershire bryophyte RDB and an annotated checlist of the bryophyte of Cleeve Common (see the bottom of the page).
 
Relevant positions held:
  • British Bryological Society joint county recorder for Gloucestershire
  • Member of the IUCN SSC Bryophyte Specialist Group
 PROJECT EXPERIENCE
- Alney Island monitoring of bryophytes
- Audit of bryophyte survey, Bryn Defaid
- BAP arable bryophytes ecological study
- Cleeve Common survey and documentation of bryophytes
- Cletwr Brook, Colwyn Brook, Dulas Brook, River Edw, Nant yr Offeiriad and Sgithwen lower plant survey
- Dawlish Warren survey of Petalophyllum ralfsii
- Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust Reserves bryophyte surveys
- Leptodontium gemmascens survey on National Trust properties
- Leptodontium gemmascens survey of Hinemihi for
- Leptodontium gemmascens, monitoring of Alfriston Clergy House
- Longwood Farm, Gloucestershire bryophyte survey
- Nardia insecta status assessment
- Poynings bryophyte survey
- River Cober bryophyte survey
- Rivers Towy and Claerwen bryophyte survey for EIA
­- Snowdown bryophyte survey for EIA
- Sphagnum recolonisation monitoring following clear-felling in the Forest of Dean
- Weissia sterilis survey and documentation of Gloucestershire populations
-  Highnam Woods survey of epiphytic bryophytes for chicken farm extension proposal
CLIENTS
- AMEC Foster Wheeler
- Celtic Energy Ltd.
- Cornwall Environmental Consultants Ltd.
- FERA Science Ltd.
- Forestry Commission
- Gloucestershire Wildlife Management
- Jacobs
- National Trust
- Natural England (formerly English Nature)
- Natural Resources Wales (formerly Countryside Council for Wales)
- Teignbridge Borough Council
- The Landmark Practice
 
 
 
 
 
Back to SURVEYS
A Provisional Red Data Book of Gloucestershire Bryophytes
In bryological terms, Gloucestershire is one of the richest counties in Britain. The two Watsonian vice counties which make up Gloucestershire represent approximately 1.8% of the total area of Britain but support or have supported nearly 44% of the total British bryophyte flora.
 
The IUCN Red List criteria were applied to all the species which have been recorded in the county and the result is this RDB which presents a review of the past records, ecology, current condition and conservation requirements of 76 bryophyte species of national conservation concern, as well as 199 which are of concern in Gloucestershire. More than 150 images are presented, illustrating both the species discussed and the habitats in which they occur.
 
The RDB is considered provisional because there are still many areas for which there are few or no recent records, it is likely that detailed survey of these areas would lead to the rediscovery of many taxa and require a change in their Red List status. Species covered include the only populations of Atrichum angustatum currently known in the UK, as well as a range of other rare or threatened species from Anomodon longifolius and Seligeria campylopoda in the Wye Valley, to Weissia condensa and W. sterilis in the Cotswolds. In addition to the species accounts, short descriptions are given of conservation projects actively underway in the county.
To order click
here
An annotated checklist of the Bryophytes of Cleeve Common, Gloucestershire
Cleeve Common is an area of calcareous grassland on a hill overlooking Cheltenham. , which includes the highest point in the Cotswolds. It is remarkable in part for having exposures of the acid Harford Sands in places over much of the higher ground, such that small pockets of heathland occur in a matrix of highly calcareous vegetation. Cleeve Common is one of the most remarkable sites for bryophytes in Gloucestershire and also because it is located so close to Cheltenham it was thoroughly surveyed in the early part of the 20th century by H.H. Knight; the first person to document the bryophytes of Gloucestershire.
 
Comparison of  Knight's records with the results of a comprehensive survey carried out in 2011-2014 showed that many of the acidophile species which formerly occurred have disppeared from the common. However the site is still extremely rich for calcicoles and the only population of Atrichum angustatum currently known in the UK was rediscovered there in 2011. The high conservation of the bryophyte flora led the leeve Common Board of Conservators, who are responsible for the common, to undertake two major bryophyte conservation projects, one of which is described on the                                                                page of this site.
 
This checklist provides an account of the distribution and typical habitat of the 200 bryophyte species which have been recorded on Cleeve Common, together with many photographs showing the species, supported by information on the ecology and conservation work on the common.
Research and Conservation
To order, contact Ellie Phillips at:  conservators@cleevecommon.org.uk