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(Leader: Mark Lewis)

Under a blue sky on a still but cool morning, nine members set out on a circular walk around Priddy Mineries. Here, uneven and contaminated ground results from long abandoned lead workings, noted for the interesting flora adapted to this habitat. Lower plants, bryophytes and lichens dominate many of the abandoned spoil heaps and feature

prominently in Winter, when least obscured by flowering plants.
The moss Polytrichum juniperinum and lichen Cladonia portentosa created together a carpet on this harsh substrate.
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General view across Priddy Minories.

Moss Polytrichum juniperinum and 
lichen Caldonia portentosa

Over much of the site, golden in the sunshine, grass tussocks dominate the vegetation over extensive open ground; this apart from the occasional small tree or Blackthorn thicket. A Roe Deer was seen grazing close to nearby bushes.  Several bird species were heard, but not seen well. Small flocks of Meadow Pipits and finches remained distant and elusive. But most people enjoyed good telescope views of Buzzard, Stonechat and Great-spotted Woodpecker. A Reed Bunting was heard near one of several ice-covered ponds.

After a lunch break, under the conifer trees of Stockhill Plantation car park, we headed off along forest trails. For some reason the woodland birds were very quiet, so our attention was drawn to various lichens, bryophytes and fungi. Growing under coniferous  trees the group found some excellent examples of Yellow Stagshorn Fungus Calocera viscosa , as well as toadstool shaped  fungi Lepista inversa.  Then on dead larch wood a delicate gilled fungi Panellus mitis and on a nearby tree trunk the aniseed scented Clitocybe suaveolens.  Growing on some fallen logs, we found two spectacular pale green lichens Cladonia fimbriata and Cladonia coniocraea. Finally on another fallen tree trunk the scarce to local “Rustwort” Nowellia curvifolia.
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Fungus Panellus mitisi

Lichen Caldonia cocrea
Lichen Caldonia fimbriata

Rustwort Nowellia curvifolia

Yellow Staghorn Fungus Calocera viscosa

M.Turnbull / P.Delve