Bryophyte meeting, Staplefield

Field meeting reports

Meeting date: 21 October 2000

(Leader: Howard Matcham)

In the morning we crossed the road into v.c.14 and wandered out from Staplefield village green along a track looking for specimens. Howard and Rod led the expedition and soon small tussocks, wefts and wads were being harvested from the wayside. Some members had to be reminded of the theme of the meeting when luxuriant growths of Carex remota (Remote Sedge) caught their eye, but even the single-minded bryologists crossed a large, damp field to examine a particularly fine example of Sorbus torminalis (Wild Service-tree) in vivid autumn colour. After lunch in the hall we looked at the morning’s collection under microscopes under the supervision of Messrs Matcham and Stern. Howard was especially illuminating on the structure of the mosses, while Rod was becoming excited by his Jungea cavifolia, a rather scarce woodland liverwort. Eight members benefited from the expertise of the two resident gurus and by the end of the day had examined a range of the commoner bryophytes of Sussex as a foundation for further study.