Mosses and liverworts can be found almost everywhere and Staffordshire is blessed with a good variety of habitats in which to look. Perhaps the richest location is on the limestone to the east of the county, in the valleys of the Hamps, Manifold and Dove, where the woods, grassland and rocks have abundant species, some of them uncommon. The moorlands, too, have plenty to offer as do the bogs, meres and mosses in the middle of the county whilst the extensive and varied habitats on Cannock Chase are a goldmine of many different species. Gardens and agricultural land have their own set of interesting species; unploughed stubble fields, in particular, have a very interesting flora of small plants which are seen best in the late autumn and winter. Our many canals and industrial areas also harbour bryophytes. The water and brickwork of canals and locks are often festooned with them and some even flourish in the most unpromising post-industrial locations.
Generally bryophytes are sensitive to pollution and the county has suffered more than its share of this in the past. Oddly a few species have flourished under pollution but now it is pleasing to see that the cleaner air of more recent times is encouraging the return of some of the more sensitive species - this will be a rewarding area of study in coming years.
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