Sedges at Tarn Moss and Eycott Hill

Cumberland 5th June 2021
led by
Mike Porter

Tarn Moss National Nature Reserve is a basin mire holding a fine collection of sedges and acid-loving plants. The specialities are Carex magellanica (Tall Bog-sedge) and C. lasiocarpa (Slender Sedge) but other sedges including C. canescens (White Sedge), C. paniculata (Greater Tussock-sedge) and C. rostrata (Bottle Sedge) also grow here, along with Andromeda polifolia (Bog Rosemary), Dactylorhiza maculata (Heath-spotted Orchid), Dryopteris carthusiana (Narrow Buckler-fern) and Vaccinium oxycoccos (Cranberry). It is often very wet underfoot. Our second site is Eycott Hill not far from Tarn Moss and recently purchased by Cumbria Wildlife Trust. It is largely a series of mires that occupy a number of parallel troughs in the underlying volcanic rock and it too is very wet in places. The sedge flora includes good quantities of Carex limosa (Bog-sedge), C. pauciflora (Few-flowered Sedge), C. diandra (Lesser Tussock-sedge), C. dioica (Dioecious Sedge) and up to 16 other Carex species, together with some non-Carex sedges. There is a good range of other wetland species and, on the drier hillocks, Cryptogramma crispa (Parsley Fern) and Viola lutea (Mountain Pansy) are found.  Numbers are limited to 15 to minimise damage to fragile habitats. All sedge enthusiasts are welcome whether experienced or not.  The distance covered will not be great – a little more than 5 kilometres but in places it will be very wet underfoot. Wellies or waterproof boots are essential. To book a place or request more details contact Mike Porter, preferably by email.