A small group of extraordinary bryophytes, known as ‘obligate metallophytes’, are entirely confined to substrates that are rich in heavy metals such as copper, conditions that are toxic to normal plant growth. Earlier in Earth’s history, when the land surface was more skeletal, they were probably much more frequent but today are rare. During a bryophyte survey commissioned by Natural England, one of the smallest metallophytes, the liverwort Cephaloziella massalongi (Lesser Copperwort), has just been found growing in areas of old copper mines on the sandstone escarpment of Alderley Edge. In England, this endangered and declining plant has not previously been seen beyond the distant tin mines of Cornwall and Devon. Populations were found in two adjacent mine areas within Alderley Edge, at the long-abandoned Pillar Mine and Engine Vein Mine, owned by The National Trust. It is highly localised within the site, as is typical for the plant, but in the short-term at least its future here looks favourable.