Bodmin Moor Bryophyte Sites IPA
Location: In northeast Cornwall to the north of Bodmin and Liskeard and bisected from Launceston to Bodmin by the A30.
Grid Reference: Phoenix United Mine & Crow's Nest SAC SX263713, Dozmary Pool SX194744, Witheybrook Marsh SX251726
Bodmin Moor is the most south-westerly upland in England.
It is dominated by a granite outcrop which forms the core and in which bogs and mires have formed. A rich diversity of minerals occurs around the granite margins, and from Bronze Age times mining has taken place on the moor. During the late 1800s, tin, copper and other minerals were extracted, making Bodmin Moor one of the most important mining areas in Cornwall. Now the remains of the mines and quarries litter the landscape and in some places have formed hummocks and pools. The metal-rich, disused mining sites and wetlands support nationally important assemblages of uncommon mosses and liverworts. The edge of the moor is fringed with deciduous damp valleys in which can be found ancient woodlands which support a wide variety of Atlantic lichens and important assemblages of bryophytes.
Plants you could see
Amongst the assemblages of mosses and liverworts found in the disused mining areas, woodlands and wetlands are marsh earwort, the nationally rare liverworts greater copperwort , lobed threadwort and lesser copperwort, orange-bud thread-moss and Portuguese feather-moss . The site is home to the only known population of Cornish path moss. Vascular plants you might see in the mires include marsh violet, common cotton-grass, hare’s-tail cotton-grass, bog asphodel and the insectivorous round-leaved sundew. On steeper drier slopes, the vegetation is dominated equally by bristle bent, purple moor-grass, heather and tormentil with frequent common bent, brown bent, bell heather and heath milkwort. Chamomile occurs on some of the old tramways in the mine workings. This nationally scarce species has declined dramatically in recent years and Cornwall is now one of its strongholds.