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Tunstall Reservoir - 19/04/21

Updated: Apr 21


Today was my first outing with the botany club and everyone’s first group trip of the year since Covid19. It was lovely to meet everybody and fantastic to get out with such a knowledgeable bunch of people. The weather was on our side, the sun shone, spring flowers were in bloom and we listened to the birds as we meandered around the reservoir.


On the road verges we came across lots of Lesser Celendine (Ficaria verna), Lords and Ladies (Arum maculatum), Dogs Mercury (Mercurialis perennis), Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria), Barren Strawberry (Potentilla sterilis) and Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris). The Blackthorn (Prunus Spinoza) was in blossom and we were lucky to spot a small patch of Cowslip (Primula veris) and Moschatel - Townhall clock (Adoxa Moshatellina). We also spotted 3 Heron, and listened to the geese.


Lesser celendine (Ficaria verna)

Barren strawberry (Potenilla sterilis)

Blackthorn (Prunus Spinoza)

Cowslip (Primula veris)

Moshatel (Adoxa Moshatellina)


Through the gate into the woodland we admired the moss-covered banks where we saw lots of Primrose (Primula vulgaris), Wood sage (Teucrium scorodonia), Wood Sorrel (Oxalis acetosella), Common Dog Violet (Viola riviniana) and Sanicle (Sanicula europaea). It will be nice to return when the Wood sage and Sanicle are in flower.


Primrose (Primula vulgaris)



Wood sage (Teucrium scorodonia)


Wood sorrel (Oxalis acetosella)

Common dog violet (Viola riviniana)

Sanicle (Sanicula europaea)


In the wet ground we spotted some Opposite leaved golden Saxifrage (Chrysosphlenium oppostifolium) and as we wandered along I noticed lots of Honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum) growing on the verges and in amongst the trees. We spotted some Sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum) and a small patch of Betony (Stacey’s officialise).


Opposite leaved golden saxifrage (Chrysosphlenium oppositifolum)

Honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum)


It was a little further along by a stream we spotted some lovely bryophytes, Richard was very knowledgeable and was able to identify some fabulous specimens such as Tamarisk moss (Thuidium tamariscinum) which has fern like shoots, Bank haircap (Polytrichum formosum) which stands upright in a sharp spiral arrangement. Common Feather-moss (Kindbergia praelonga), swans neck thyme (Mnium hornum), Big shaggy-moss (Rhytidiadelphus triquetrus) Richard told me that it reminded him of a Monkey puzzle tree which I thought was an excellent way of remembering it, also Neat feather-moss (Pseudoscleropodium Purum), Greater Fork moss (Dicranum majus) and Waved silk-moss (Plagiothecium undelatum).


Common Tamarisk-moss (Thuidium tamariscinum)


Swans Neck Thyme moss (Mnium hornum)

Big Shaggy-moss (Rhytidiadelphus triquetrus)

Waved Silk-moss (Plagiothecium undulatum)


Common feather moss (Kindbergia praelonga)

Bank haircap moss (Polytrichum formosum)


We had a mystery plant we were unable to identify in its early stages along with Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum), Pignut (Conopodium majus) and Greater stitchwort, (Stellaria holostea) none of which were in flower.



Near the end looking over the reservoir we spotted a Redshank on the waters edge and watched the fish jumping and catching flies. Then in a final flourish we saw more Lesser Celendine, Dog Violets, Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) and some Forget-me-not’s. I spotted a wonderful Lichen in a tree stump unsure of the variety but I am thinking Cladonia coniocraea? In all it was a wonderful day out and an excellent insight to seeing what springtime at Tunstall reservoir had to offer, especially for a beginner like me, I learnt so much and I’m really looking forward to our next event!


Lichen (Cladonia coniocraea?)




Images were taken from my phone so apologies they are not the best quality. I am a beginner and was taking notes as we went, then went back to take photos so please correct me on any wrong identifications.


Lisa Gill

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