Hair silk-moss is a pleurocarpous moss that forms patches on shaded montane rock-ledges and among boulders at about 800 m.
In Britain the moss has been recorded only from two localities in Scotland, on Ben Lawers (Perthshire, now Tayside) and in Caenlochan Glen (Angus, now Tayside). The last British record was from Caenlochan Glen in 1939. It has not been re-found during recent fieldwork at its historic localities but it might nevertheless still persist in Scotland. It is known in western North America, eastern Asia, Siberia, northern and central Europe, the Pyrenees, Corsica, Sardinia and Italy (Tuscany).
Hair silk-moss is classified as Critically Endangered in Great Britain. It is specially protected under Schedule 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended).
Both of the locations with historic records are within SSSIs.
Objectives for this species
Maintain any British populations of hair silk-moss that still survive.
Undertake targeted searches of former sites to determine whether the species is still extant.
Originally published in: UK Biodiversity Group Tranche 2 Action Plans - Volume VI: Terrestrial and freshwater species and habitats (October 1999, Tranche 2, Vol VI, p185)