Ferry Wood

As a family we have recently brought a 40 acre oakwood in Argyll, in South Knapdale at the northern entrance to the West Loch, which separates Knapdale from Kintyre. It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and part of a Special Area of Conservation because of the rarity of the habitat. Being next to the Atlantic, it is oceanic and this makes it part of the temperate rainforest biome.

The rarest species on the site are certain mosses and liverworts that can only exist in the hyper-humid conditions of places like Scotland’s west coast, with the shade and protection offered by the trees helping maintain moisture levels. A week or so ago I was in the wood with Stan Phillips of Scottish Natural Heritage and he showed me one of the varieties: Plagiochila spinulosa (Prickly featherwort), growing on a rock in the ravine.

PlantLife make this amazing comment about woods such as ours: “these woodlands, particularly those with bouldery ravines, have as diverse a bryophyte flora as almost anywhere else on the planet, rivalling the tropical-montane cloud forests.” (bryophytes include mosses and liverworts).


About edwardtyler

I live in Kintyre, the long peninsula acting as a natural breakwater for the Firth of Clyde, west of Glasgow. A Permaculture and Transition practitioner, I am working with fellow community activists to co-create a resilient and vibrant local bioregion.

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