Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Orchids of South Yorkshire




Travelling along Manvers Way in the Dearne Valley on the border of Barnsley to Rotherham my Wife Elaine and I saw the notice in the attached picture on the roundabout to RSPB Old Moor Nature Reserve. The Dactylorhiza species and hybrids have been growing in the verges along this stretch of road for a number of years but it wasn't until someone found Bee Orchids at the Bus Stop about three years ago that  Pete Wall of the Dearne Valley Improvement Area approached Rotherham MBC and as partners in the NIA they agreed not to cut the verges in that area until the Autumn. This year on our annual visit to see how things are going on we found that not only are the Marsh and Spotted Orchids thriving  but we counted over One Hundred Spikes of Bee Orchids, and probably more, from the Broomhill roundabout to the Roundabout after Old Moor, no doubt helped by the slip stream of traffic along this busy road. Also we now have a thriving colony of Lathyrus nissolia (Grass vetchling) in that area. Thanks must go to Matthew Capper Manager of RSPB Old Moor, Pete Wall of NIA and Rotherham MBC for their combined efforts in maintaining and improving this particularly rich area of the Dearne Valley. On our way to a field meeting we saw a similar notice on the A1 Roundabout at Marr which is in Doncaster MBC who are also NIA partners. No doubt the other two councils in South Yorkshire are encouraging our natural heritage in this once heavily industrialised part of Yorkshire.
Image Mel Linney

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