BBS > Learning More > Where to find them   

Where to find Bryophytes

Bryophytes can be found almost anywhere, including man made objects such as buildings and cars, surfaces such as pavements and tarmac drives, and areas such as parks and arable fields. A wide variety of species can be found around houses and gardens, and many of these can be identified using the Mosses and Liverworts of Towns and Gardens sheet.

Because the leaves of most bryophytes are only one cell thick, and very few of them have any specialised conducting tissue to transport water along the stem, they are very vulnerable to drying out. Although some species can tolerate drying out for long periods of time, many cannot survive unless kept moist. Therefore the best places to look for bryophytes are sheltered and humid habitats such as woodlands, beside streams, and in damp places such as bogs and fens.

Most Wildlife Trusts have reserves that are excellent places to start. They usually do not mind bryologists collecting small amounts of material for identification purposes, but in return they should be sent a list of species found. To find out about your local Wildlife Trust visit their website at .


In the footsteps of the BBS

Every year the BBS holds field meetings in localities of bryological interest. Reports of these meetings are available on this website, and these give suggestions of sites to visit and the notable plants that you might come across. You can find the meeting reports in several ways.

  1. Use the Vice-County Map to locate the page relating to the area that interests you. These pages include links to reports of meetings, as well as details of the BBS recorder and other information including check lists (when available).
  2. Use the Vice-Counties visited page to go straight to the meeting reports, arranged according to vice-counties visited..
  3. Use the Previous meetings page to browse through the areas visited.


Local Groups

The BBS has a number of local groups who meet several times a year. Joining one of these groups is an excellent way to learn about identifying bryophytes in the field, and to meet up with others with similar interests. To find a list of these groups go to the Local Groups page.


Copyright © British Bryological Society .