Tuesday 18 September 2018

Yeoman Hey Reservoir, Saddleworth

A Tour of Yeoman Hey Reservoir, Saddleworth

14 September, 2018
Leader Kay McDowell

Kay McDowell
Mike Canaway
Peter Burton
Les Coe

Louise Hill
John Scott
Tim Kohler

The party met at 10.30am in Binn Green car park below Alderman Brow on the A635 (SE018046).
The purpose of the meeting was to add to the species count in under-recorded sectors.
Sectors surveyed were SE0104 and SE0205

We started by surveying the car park and surroundings which were in SE0104. Whilst the weather report had suggested showers, we had a downpour that had us retreating to the cars whilst it passed over, which fortunately it soon did. Thereafter the day remained dry for the most part, brightening up as the afternoon progressed. Soggy notebooks made recording challenging till they dried out in the wind.
Late flowering Hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium)

The car park and surrounding woodland produced the following species. Hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium), Bracken (Pteridium aquilinum), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus repens), Annual Meadow-grass (Poa annua), Broad-leaved Willowherb (Epilobium montanum), Common Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea), Ribwort Plantain (Plantago lanceolata), Prickly Sowthistle (Sonchus asper), Common Nettle (Urtica dioica), Tufted Vetch (Vicia cracca), Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea), Common Knapweed (Centaurea nigra), Creeping Thistle (Cirsium arvense), Hawkweed sp, (Hieracium sp.), Wall Letuce (Mycelis muralis), Wood Dock (Rumex sanguineus), Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum), Honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum), Heath Bedstraw (Galium saxatile), Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), Heather (Calluna vulgaris).
Monocots noted Red Fescue (Festuca rubra), Great Wood-rush (Luzula sylvatica), Common Bent (Agrostis capillaris), Soft Rush (Juncus effusus), Purple Moor-grass (Molinia caerulea), Heath Rush (Juncus squarrosus), Wavy Hair-grass (Deschampsia flexuosa).
Trees noted were a Larch hybrid (Larix sp.), Elder (Sambucus nigra), Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia), Alder (Alnus glutinosa), Holly (Ilex sp.) a garden variety, Downy Birch (Betula pubescens).
Ferns noted Bracken (Pteridium aquilinum), Male-fern (Dryopteris filix-mas), Broad Buckler-fern (Dryopteris dilatata).

Road to the reservoirs
Then followed a walk down the lane towards the reservoirs. Within the dry stone walls which lined both sides of the lane, we found some interesting plants as well as along the verges and banks.
Rosebay Willowherb (Chamerion angustifolium), Spear Thistle (Cirsium vulgare), Wood Sage (Teucrium scorodonia), Bell Heather (Erica cinerea), Cross Leaf Heath (E. tetralix), Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara), Creeping Thistle (Cirsium arvense), Marsh Thistle (C. palustre), Greater Lettuce (Lactuca virosa), Common Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea), Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris), Nipplewort (Lapsana communis), Lesser Burdock (Arctium minus), Oxeye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare), Prickly Sowthistle (Sonchus asper), Redleg (Persicaria maculosa), Perforate St John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum), Pineappleweed (Matricaria discoridea), Lesser Trefoil (Trifolium dubium), Sticky Mouse-ear (Cerastium glomeratum), Smooth Sowthistle (Sonchus Oleraceus), Heath Speedwell (Veronica officinalis), Angelica (Angelica sylvetris), Rough Hawkbit (Leontodon hispidus), Gorse (Ulex europaeus), Birdsfoot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus).
Grasses noted were Tufted Hair-grass (Deschampsia cespitosa), Creeping Soft-grass (Holcus mollis), Cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata) and Crested Dog's-tail (Cynosurus cristatus).
Ferns noted were Lady-fern (Athyrium filix-femina), Hart's-tongue Fern (Asplenium scolopendrium), Black Spleenwort (A. adiantum), Lemon-scented Fern (Oreopteris limbosperma) and Golden-scaled Male-fern (Dryopteris afinis ssp. afinis).
Trees noted Grey Willow (Salix cinerea), Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris).

One we struggled with on site, considering as possibly Creeping Cinquefoil (Potentilla reptans), is now thought to have been Trailing Tormentil (P. anglica) with its mix of trifoliate and palmate leaves. Thanks to Mike for this review.

We then began the Yeoman Way Circular walk around the reservoir. On the eastern side the path was initially suitable for maintenance vehicles, but soon changed to a footpath, while on the western side it was a typical moorland footpath, general level but somewhat uneven, not suitable for disabled persons.

Bog Asphodel (Narthecium ossifragum)
Meadow Vetchling (Lathyrus pratensis), Hairy Bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta), Cleavers (Galium aparine), Melilot sp. (Melilotus sp.) (no fruits to aid an ID), Eyebright (Euphrasia sp.), Broom (Cytisus scoparius)with seeds having hairy edges only, Rough Hawkbit (Leontodon hispidus), Creeping Cinquefoil (Potentilla anglica), Autumn Hawkbit (Scorzoneroides autumnalis), Meadow Cranesbill (Geranium pratense) in flower, Cow Parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris), Red Bartsia (Odontites vernus), Bell Heather (Erica cinerea), Great Burnet (Sanguisorba officinalis), Field Horsetail (Equisetum arvense). Also noted were Slender Rush (Juncus tenuis) and Mat-grass (Nardus stricta).

Meadow Cranesbill (Geranium pratense)
The reservoir straddled two sectors, the second being SE0205.
Prickly Sowthistle (Sonchus asper), Angelica (Angelica sylvestris), Common Nettle (Urtica dioica), Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia), Heather (Calluna vulgaris), Rosebay Willowherb (Chamerion angustifolium), Broad-leaved Dock (Rumex obtusifolius), Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum), Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), Field Horsetail (Equisetum arvense), Great Willowherb (Epilobium hirsutum), Marsh Thistle (Cirsium palustre), Bell Heather (Erica cinerea), Perenial Sowthistle (Sonchus arvensis), Greater Plantain (Plantago major), Eyebright (Euphrasia agg), Cat's-ear (Hypochaeris radicata), Ribwort Plantain (Plantago lanceolata), Ox-eye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare), Mouse-ear-hawkweed (Pilosella officinarum), Aster sp. (Aster agg), Selfheal (Prunella vulgaris), Hawkweed sp. (Hieracium sp.) Autumn Hawkbit (Scorzoneroides autumnalis), Bird's-foot-trefoil (Lotus corniculatus), Pineappleweed (Matricaria discoidea), Knapweed sp. (Centaurea sp.), Crowberry (Empetrum nigrum), New Zealand Willowherb (Epilobium brunnescens), Bog Asphodel (Narthecium ossifragum), Heath Bedstraw (Galium saxatile), Cross-leaved Heath (Erica tetralix), Sheep's Sorrel (Rumex acetosella).
Ferns noted were Lady-fern (Athyrium filix-femina), Golden-scaled Male-fern (Dryopteris affinis), Male-fern (D. filix-mas), Hart's-tongue Fern (Asplenium scolopendrium), Maidenhair Spleenwort (A. trichomanes), Bracken (Pteridium aquilinum), Broad Buckler-fern (Dryopteris dilatata), Hard-fern (Blechnum spicant). Also noted were a Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana) growing at side of water of reservoir, Purple Moor-grass (Molinia caerulea), Common Bent (Agrostis capillaris), Heath Rush (Juncus Squarrosus), Soft Rush (J. effusus), Yorkshire Fog (Holcus lanatus), Jointed Rush (Juncus articulatus), Bulbous Rush (J. bulbosus), Common Deergrass (Trichophorum germanicum), Star Sedge (Carex echinata).
Trees noted were Beech (Fagus sylvatica), Rowen (Sorbus aucuparia), Larch (Larix decidua), Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), Grey Willow (Salix cinerea), Oak (Quercus robar), Downy Birch (Betula pubescens) and a bright red leaved sapling of Aspen (Populus tremula).

Aspen (Populus tremula)
A special thanks to Mike Canaway for sharing his expertise on ferns with the group and for providing guidance towards the identification of ferns during this survey.

A tip-off by an interested passerby that we would find Butterwort (Pinguicula vulgaris) above Greenfield Reservoir makes the prospect of another visit to the area attractive.