Recent postings on the Gower Widlife Blog illustrate the amazing biodiversity of Bryophytes (mosses, liverworts and hornworts) in our region. Barry Stewart has shown us a number of species from Gower. Elsewhere, and in our valleys in particular, there is a rich assemblage of sub-oceanic and montane species. Glossy, pale green patches of Shining Hookeria (Hookeria lucens) are a good indicator of ancient sessile oakwoods that clothe our valleys. It belongs to a community of bryophytes that are typical of the mild, wet temperate climate of the west of Britain.
Less common is the strikingly beautiful Golden-head Moss (Breutelia chrysocoma), a montane species which occurs in the waterfall districts in the north of our area.
I know of only two sites for the Narrow Mushroom-headed Liverwort (Preissia quadrata) in the county of Neath Port Talbot. This is a northern-boreal species, but it occurs on calcareous mortar in the Afan Valley, as seen in the photograph. Elsewhere, you may come across it on calcium-rich rocks in the waterfall district, or in dune slacks at Whiteford Burrows (and Kenfig).