Saturday, May 24, 2014

Craig y Cilau

Two of us set out in iffy weather to re-familiarise ourselves with this great National Nature Reserve on Tuesday in preparation for the joint Wildflower Society / Brecknock Wildlife Trust walk on  14th June.
(Do come if you can - you will need to join one of the Socs !)

This reserve, if you don't know it, has everything. Industrial archaeology; limestone cliffs; a raised bog; caves; wonderful scenery... I could go on.

Mossy Saxifrage was everywhere:

... and hopefully will still be flowering but we are really targeting the following species:
Angular Solomon's-seal, Llysiau-Solomon persawrus, Polygonatum odoratum on an exposed ledge but we should be able to get within sight of it.

Rare Whitebeams (Sorbus)
Plus rare Hieraciums or Hawkweeds (many of both genera are endemic or even unique to the reserve) but don't expect us to necessarily be able to identify all of these accurately ! (We may not be able to get close enough for one thing.)

Then there should be Alpine Enchanter's-nightshade, Llysiau-Steffan y mynydd, Circaea alpina with:
Wilson's Filmy-fern, Rhedynach teneuwe Wilson, Hymenophyllum wilsonii

growing nearby. Both of these are rare in the reserve and the Circaea pretty much on its tod in the area in a small relict population. (Although its offspring: Upland Enchanter's-nightshade Circaea x intermedia is actually commonish in the county.)

The other planned visit for last week has been postponed until 3rd June - terrible weather !

If you would like to join the Brecknockshire Botanical Group and help us record species such as the above do please contact me. Prior botanical experience is not essential - we need sharp eyes in the group for spotting things and you will learn alongside us!

Oh - and we only got really soaked on the last leg to the car - over the moor above the reserve with swallow holes and other geological features.

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