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Wildmoor Heath – 19 September 2010

Michael Keith-Lucas led a walk at Wildmoor Heath on Sunday 19th September, starting at BBOWT’s Broadmoor Bottom Reserve. Pollen analysis shows that the peat deposits in the valley bottoms have been accumulating since the last ice age. After a perilous crossing of a valley mire, using large tussocks and trying to avoid the intervening deep boggy sections, plants found included Round-leaved Sundew, the orange seed heads of Bog Asphodel, White Beak-sedge and a number of different types of sphagnum moss. A large spider with 4 white dots on its back was identified as Araneus quadratus.

 Walking up the side of the valley, the path crossed the Bagshot Sands and climbed up to the gravel deposits at the top of the hill. Cross-leaved Heath Erica tetralix was restricted to wet areas in the valley bottom, Bell Heather Erica cinerea was only found in the drier areas at the top, while Heather Calluna vulgaris was found throughout. Bracken was restricted to the Bagshot Sands and its upper limit marked the boundary with the gravel deposits.

 Michael likened himself to the Grand Old Duke of York as he led the group back down the hillside and across the wet valley bottom again, where a Raft Spider was seen on the fronds of a Hard Shield-fern. Following recent rain, a wide variety of fungi was found, including a Blusher, a Brown Birch Boletus and a spectacular display of Fly Agaric. The caterpillar of a Sycamore Moth crawled across a fallen pine trunk and then disappeared inside a hole in the wood. To the relief of those photogaphers who had failed to record it before it vanished, it re-emerged for further pictures. It had long orange and yellow hairs and white spots.

Pictures by Rob Stallard and Jan Haseler

RDNHS trip to Wildmoor Heath 19 Sept 2010
Leader: Michael Keith-Lucas
Angiosperm Plants and Ferns
Latin name English name
Agrostis capillaris Common Bent
Aira praecox Dune Hair-grass
Betula pendula Silver Birch
Betula pubescens Downy Birch
Calluna vulgaris Heather
Carex panicea Carnation Sedge
Carex viridula Yellow-sedge
Cirsium palustre Marsh Thistle
Cytisus scoparius Broom
Deschampsia flexuosa Wavy Hair-grass
Drosera rotundifolia Round-leaved Sundew
Dryopteris dilatata Broad Buckler-fern
Dryopteris filix-mas Male-fern
Erica cinerea Bell Heather
Erica tetralix Cross-leaved Heath
Holcus lanatus Yorkshire-fog
Holcus mollis Creeping Soft-grass
Juncus conglomeratus Compact Rush
Juncus effusus Soft-rush
Juncus squarrosus Heath Rush
Juncus tenuis Slender Rush
Lathyrus pratensis Meadow Vetchling
Lotus pedunculatus Greater Bird’s-foot-trefoil
Molinia caerulea Purple Moor-grass
Narthecium ossifragum Bog Asphodel
Pinus sylvestris Scots Pine
Plantago major Greater Plantain
Polygonum hydropiper Water-pepper
Polygonum persicaria Redshank
Polystichum aculeatum Hard Shield-fern
Populus tremula Aspen
Potamogeton polygonifolius Bog Pondweed
Potentilla erecta Tormentil
Pteridium aquilinum Bracken
Quercus cerris Turkey Oak
Quercus robur Pedunculate Oak
Ranunculus flammula Lesser Spearwort
Rhynchospora alba White Beak-sedge
Senecio jacobaea Common Ragwort
Ulex minor Dwarf Gorse
Vaccinium myrtillus Bilberry
Vicia cracca Tufted Vetch
Vicia hirsuta Hairy Tare
Mosses and Liverworts
Hypnum jutlandicum
Polytrichum commune
Polytrichum formosum
Sphagnum magellanicum
Sphagnum palustre
Sphagnum papillosum
Cladonia fimbriata
Amanita muscaria Fly Agaric
Amanita rubescens The Blusher
Lactarius rufus Rufous Milk-cap
Araneus quadratus
Araneus diadematus
Dolomedes fimbriatus Raft Spider
Acronicta aceris Sycamore moth caterpillar

List prepared by Renee Grayer