Bradford Botany Group

Isle of Skye

June 28th – July 3rd 2007

Beech Fern

On our first morning we visited Loch Meodal and saw a range of interesting species including Marsh Clubmoss (Lycopodiella inundata), Lousewort (Pedicularis sylvatica ssp. hibernica) and the Hybrid Sundew (Drosera obovata). We then moved to the Sleat peninsula in the south east of the island, where we explored the coastal Ob Gauscavaig, Loch Gauscavaig and some interesting woodland. We saw Beech Fern (Phegopteris connectilis), Common Butterwort (Pinguicula vulgaris), Lesser Twayblade (Listera cordata), Fragrant Orchid (Gymnadenia conopsea ssp. borealis), and Long-stalked Pondweed (Potamogeton praelongus) growing in the loch.

Common Butterwort

Lapland Marsh-orchid

On Raasay we walked from Balachuirn across the island to the eastern cliffs. Walking across the central part of the island, over the heather-moor and bogs we came across Lapland Marsh-orchid (Dactylohiza lapponica). Reaching the limestone cliffs we found Mountain Avens (Dryas octopetala) and Dark-red Helleborine (Epipactis atrorubens), and the Holly-fern (Polystichum lonchitis).

Early Marsh-orchid

In the morning of our third day we saw Pipewort (Eriocaulon aquaticum), a slender aquatic herb with a creeping rootstock, growing in the small lochs around Sligachan. Another rarity found was Early Marsh-orchid (Dactylorhiza incarnate ssp. pulchella). Bog Asphodel (Narthecium ossifragum) was also a welcome sight. In the afternoon we climbed the Old Man of Storr and explored the Torridon ridge which is very rich in arctic alpines. These included Northern Rockcress (Arabis petraea) and Mountain Sorrel (Oxyria digyna).

Bog Asphodel

Lesser Butterfly-orchid

On our final day on Skye, Loch Cill Chriosd was our first stop. Here we saw the Lesser Water-plantain (Baldellia ranunculoides) and White Water-lily (Nymphaea alba ssp. occidentalis). Then we explored the species rich coastal heathland/grassland on the Ardnish Peninsula near Broadford. We saw the Small-white Orchid (Pseudorchis albida) and the Lesser Butterfly-orchid (Platanthera bifolia).

Lesser Water-plantain