Sunday, 20 April 2014

Bryology at Rye Harbour

Since being inspired by Butterfly Conservation’s Rother Woods Project into taking an interest in conservation, especially invertebrates and plants, I have been surprised where this interest has taken me. Not only emotionally and intellectually, but sometimes geographically too, so when Tom Ottley, the county  recorder for Bryophytes (Mosses and Liverworts) for Sussex  asked me to be the minder for a British Bryological Society (BBS) Field Meeting at Rye Harbour and Camber Castle, I was more than happy to help.

North-Easterly Weather at Rye Harbour
I have always been rather impressed by how the Sussex Botanists can distinguish between very similar looking species of plants by utilizing a deep knowledge of plant morphology, habitats and seasonal distribution. The Bryologists are cast from the same mould, only perhaps more so, as the plants they study are often tiny. They are also very good botanists too, so any hope that I had of giving it the big one with my botanical knowledge was comprehensively crushed like Vlad the Impaler’s enemies.

Bryologists at Work
So this was an opportunity to learn rather than to pontificate; so two new plants for me, Field Madder (Sherardia arvensis) and Sea Milkwort (Glaux maritime).

Field Madder


A trip with the Botanists to Camber Castle a couple of years ago got me to the outer walls (the bastion), this trip with the bryologists got me to the keep.

The keep at Camber Castle
Many thanks to Barry Yates, Chris Bentley and the Sussex Wildlife Trust (SWT ) for permission to survey and for their excellent help and advice. 
Bryologists in Hard Hats
 The view of Rye from Camber Castle.

Rye: East Sussex
Finally, compare and contrast some different forms of energy generation.

Wind Turbines on Romney Marsh
Dungeness Nuclear power station (on the horizon, centre right)

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