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CANCELLED - BLS SUMMER MEETING 2020 – Aberdare, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales

11th July 2020 to 18th July 2020

Event Description:


COVID19 – The safety and well-being of our members and their communities is our utmost priority. All face-to-face meetings, including Council, Committee and Field Meetings and excursions are temporarily suspended.

The re-instatement of meetings will be dependent upon: Government Advice; the willingness of the accommodation to accept groups; and the ability and willingness of leaders to organise field sites and to attend meetings.


BLS SUMMER MEETING 2020 – Aberdare, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales


Saturday 11 – Saturday 18 July 2020

Local contact: Ray Woods

This is an opportunity to visit one of the most extraordinary parts of Britain that to date has been little explored for lichens. The northern part of the South Wales coalfield merges in a series of spectacularly wooded valleys with immense waterfalls into the high moorland, cliffs and screes of the Brecon Beacons. They sit cheek by jowl with the densely populated coalfield valleys and the now often lichen-rich tips and sites of the former iron and coal industry. We will visit the site of possibly the only strip-mined site in Britain, abandoned unrestored at the end of the Second World war. Celtic rain-forest and limestone and gritstone pavements are within easy reach. The transformation from a lichen desert to one of great richness is rapidly underway. Sticta spp. have returned to nearby woods and even Teloschistes chrysophthalmus turned up in the park where we will be based!


Meeting base

The meeting base is Dare Valley Country Park Hotel, Aberdare CF44 7RG. Website:http://www.darevalley.com/

For a map of the area have a look at:



Accommodation and costs

The BLS has booked the 15 bedrooms, each of which can be for single or twin occupancy. We are booked on a full-board basis.

The cost for the week is £374.50 + VAT per person with a £10 + VAT supplement per night for single occupancy. With VAT at 20% the costs are £449.40 per person sharing and £533.40 single occupancy.



Attendees should book with the Field Meetings Secretary, Steve Price,
email: fieldmeetings@britishlichensociety.org.uk or by post to Woodlands, Combs Road, Combs, High Peak SK23 9UP and send him a £35 deposit, cheques payable to 'The British Lichen Society' (not 'BLS' please). If members prefer to pay by bank transfer please request details from the Field Meetings Secretary.



The meeting will run from Saturday 11th when we will gather after dinner for an introductory meeting. We vacate the accommodation after breakfast on the morning of Saturday 18th.

Further details of the field programme will be sent out to attendees nearer the time of the meeting.


Maps and reading

OS 1:25000 Maps

Explorer - 166 - Rhondda & Merthyr Tydfil

Explorer Leisure - OL12 - Brecon Beacons National Park West


The article ‘Colliery-spoil biodiversity of the South Wales Valleys’ by Liam Olds and Richard Wistow in British Wildlife, December 2018, presents a fascinating overview of the richness and importance of this habitat.