Mosses and Liverworts



Rabbit-moss Cheilothela chloropus - Near threatened and nationally rare

This moss is only known in Great Britain from colonies at Torbay and Dawlish Warren National Nature Reserve in Devon, and from a handful of sites on the Mendips in Somerset. It grows in short rabbit-grazed turf on limestone, often on rocky ground which becomes intermittently desiccated in summer. It is surviving well at its Torbay sites (Walls Hill, Hope's Nose, Daddyhole Plain, Petitor and Berry Head) and there is a small population in a large slack at Dawlish Warren; all these sites were checked in 2018. It is at risk from changes in site management and in grazing intensity, especially from a fall in rabbit numbers.
https://www.naturaldevon.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Cheilothela-chloropus-scaled.jpg


Image above by John Walters


Multi-fruited Cryphaea moss Dendrocryphaea lamyana - Vulnerable and nationally rare

Good populations of this moss grow in a few places beside rivers in Devon, otherwise the only British records are from south-west Wales. It grows only on rocks and trees by the side of large rivers. In Devon it is known from the rivers Bovey (near Pullabrook Bridge), Dart (near Austin’s Bridge), Tamar (including the Cornish side), Torridge (near Beaford Bridge) and Taw (near Umberleigh); and has recently (2019) been found beside the River Mole (near Arshaton Wood). In general, populations in Devon are doing well, but vigilance is required to ensure the localities where it occurs are managed appropriately and not being damaged by changes in river flow, tree management, etc.

Map to show the Devon distribution of this species

Further sources of information:

British Bryological Society

Devon Bryophyte Group