Field meeting at Epping Forest, Essex October 1962

On 21st. October 1962, the Society visited part of Epping Forest. The soils hereabouts are mostly neutral or acid, developed on a variety of Tertiary and Pleistocene deposits and the district is not therefore a very favourable one for Mollusca. Nevertheless, the fauna of such areas can be of much interest, and must be studied if a balanced picture of snail distributions and ecologies is to be obtained. Much of Epping Forest consists of 'old woodland', largely of oak, beech and hornbeam, although probably no part of it can be regarded as unmodified by man. Two species have been found which are very local in the south of England, probably relicts from former voider distributionss Vertigo substriata (Kew, 'The Dispersal of Shells', 1893? P« 147) and Limax tenellus (Taylor, 'Monograph', Vol. 2, 1906, p. 270), Neither was however refound on this excursion.

The party of about 10 members met at the Wake Arms. Here we were joined by Mr. R. M. Payne of the London Natural History Society, who has a wide knowledge of the natural history of the area and very kindly guided us during the day to suitable habitats. To the north-east of the Wake Arms, there is a small wooded stream valley, in its lower part cut into the London clay. Mollusca were sparse, but the following were found mainly under logss Discus rotundatus, Arlon intermedius, A. subfuscus, A. ater (agg.), Euconulus fulvus, Oxychilus alliarius and Limax maximus.

After lunch the Lower Forest was visited, a triangular detached portion of woodland north of Epping. First, we examined the large pond near the southern apex of the triangle, finding the following; Lymnaea truncatula, Planorbarius corneus, Planorbis vortex, P. albus and Acroloxus lacustria.

The woodland contains areas of rather damp neutral oak wood, which yielded the following species: Carychium tridentatum, Cochlicopa lubrica. Helix nemoralis (in a clearing), Discus rctundatus, Arion intermedius, A. circumscriptus, A. subfuscus, A. ater (agg.), Euconulus fulvus, Vitrea crystallina, V. contracta, Oxychilus alliarius, 0. helveticus, Retinella radiatula, R. nitidula, Limax maximus and Agriolimax agrestis (agg., probably A. reticulatus). A very small stream in the middle of the wood¬land yielded, rather unexpectedly, Potamapyrgus  jenkinsi. laevis; and in a roadside verge, Monacha cantiana. The party then return¬ed across the woodland, collecting on the way, and dispersed at Epping.