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This was certainly an interesting one for me though it appears i was foolish enough not to have collected a sample or if i did i never added it to my herbarium!
The identification at the time (which is not particularly useful just from this picture!) came from there being quite a large amount of this Sphagnum with the compact nature as you see in the picture being typical of all the plants i found.
The plant was also quite small. You can get an idea of size from the comparison with the heather, sedge and grasses it is among but again this isn't especially clear from the photo.
S. compactum "can also appear hooded.."
With the above said, the clincher for me was the habitat. S. papillosum and S. palustre with which it is possible to confuse S. compactum are both found in different habitats.
The habitat where i found the moss was extensive wet heath with areas of bare ground and dispersed vegetation.
Hi, thanks for your answer - moss identification from pictures is really limitated, so your field observation should prevail!
And thank you for taking the time to add an observation and leave a comment. Not many seem to but comments and descriptions are far more useful!
Lat/Lng: 50.8134, -1.4814
OS grid ref: SU366016