Wild Flower Conservation 2019

A letter sent by our Chairman to Warrington Borough Council in the spring of 2019

can you pass this email onto the person in charge of the mowing team please and ask for a response?

I am writing on behalf of the Warrington Nature Conservation Forum as chair and checking up on the holding off mowing in two small area of land for a month or so. Birchwood Way grass verge alongside the cycle path (People are amazed at the sight of Bee-Orchids) and Greenall Avenue Stockton Heath at the edges of the small field along side the footpath by the woods).  This gives rare orchids and other wildflowers to grow and supports many other things into the bargain.

Firstly – pass on our thanks for not mowing the grass either side of the M6 bridge that goes from Poulton North to Birchwood on the left grass verges. We note that there has been a minimal border cut which is fine.

What has emerged is clear evidence on many rare bee-orchid spikes, but no northern marsh as of yet. There have been no signs of either during the last couple of years because of mowing.

Bee Orchid ( Ophrys apifera)

In the second area at Stockton Heath this morning beyond the WBC vehicle and woodland there is only about 6 spikes and these are on the right hand side of the path through the thicket. Five years or so ago I recorded about 50 bee-orchid spikes. There are none around the small edge of the field and clear evidence that the mower is being worked close to the small wood. However there is one solitary purple orchid that has so far survived. It would be nice if this could be preserved in some way.

The WNCF would like to meet up with a representative to see if anything can be done to protect wildflowers in Warrington – perhaps not to the extent of a Scottish Sign that I have attached but certainly something along these lines.

I will copy in to this email Gail Quartly-Bishop whose specialises in identifying where Warrington wildflowers are located and can perhaps be part of the process to build up maps, processes etc that could prove useful in protecting them and ultimately helping people of Warrington to appreciate their beauty, well-being and preservation.