Mosses & Liverworts


Mosses, liverworts and hornworts are small plants, commonly known as bryophytes. Though small, they are a fascinating and rewarding group for anyone wanting to learn more about them. As early colonisers they can be found in virtually all terrestrial habitats. Bare soil, wall tops, tarmac - indeed just about every crevice supports one or more species. As well as being all around us, they are a good option to study in January and February when most other plants and invertebrates are absent.

Leicestershire and Rutland Resources

The Leicestershire branch of the BSBI run bryophyte field trips in the winter.

Other Useful Websites and Publications


The British Bryological Society offers a wealth of resources to support anyone wanting to study mosses and liverworts.

The BBS guides to common mosses and liverworts are very useful.


Mosses and Liverworts of Britain and Ireland: A Field Guide is an accessible guide for non-specialists and highly recommended. The BBS are currently planning a second edition.

If you know of other websites or books that you would recommend, do let us know:

Recording Schemes

As with all records, any submissions you make to NatureSpot will be automatically forwarded to both local and national recording schemes.

Visit our County Recorders page to find out who is the CR in VC55 (Leicestershire and Rutland).


The most essential item of equipment is a hand-lens. These can be purchased very cheaply on eBay. Look for a model with a glass and not a plastic lens, x20 magnification. A binocular microscope is also useful but not essential for most species. The free online guides mentioned above offer a great way to get started.