The creation of the cycle path over the Leicester Road has given an exciting opportunity to create a Local Wildlife site. As of Monday 16-9-13 LWS panel meeting this is now official. This site covers the area around the path along the old railway from the Hunter’s Lane bank (including the Calamint site) right up to the Oxford Canal (including Consul Road Open space and the viaduct).
A lot of work has been done by Phil Parr to get this to happen – making the WCC Habitat Biodiversity Unit aware of the site – providing data for them to make the application, and liaising with Sustrans, BC, & county ecologists, RBC & WWT.
Malcolm & Phil have seeded the new Consul Road cutting with wild flower seed, having advised RBC not to topsoil it.
Phil has grown some of the Calamint threatened and restricted by the new route with Hunters Lane seed and the propagated plants now planted the whole length. There are only 7 sites in the county where this plant grows naturally.
A few days ago Phil sowed Knapweed & Field Scabious seeds which is almost absent from the site.
The initial show of flowers at Consul Road this year was most encouraging & included Blue Fleabane and Bird’s-foot Trefoil which was planted last year and has been colonised by Common Blue. Small Copper was also present along with locally scarce White-letter Hairstreak (4 seen on the remaining Wych Elm – see pic).
This tree may be threatened by a proposed new road – so Phil is addressing this problem.
The viaduct is the only local place Phil knows where Kidney Vetch survives. After his consultation and guidance to the firm site manager who did the construction work he was pleased to say they did an excellent job and the plant still survives.
Information & photos from Phil Parr