Viaduct & Sustrans Route in Rugby

Note what a good area this is.  I found Warwickshire rarity Calamint at Hunters Lane footpath to the Black Path bridge and lots of other good stuff. The viaduct has locally uncommon Kidney Vetch though it was pretty burnt out this year.

The canal and Hunters Lane embankments hold Wych Elm and one of the few local colonies of White-letter Hairstreak.

At the time the Sustrans route was created I liaised with RBC and the contractors to avoid too much damage to the flora on the viaduct and Hunters Lane embankment.  I got RBC to remove recently laid top soil from the shallow cutting at Consul Road, and Malcolm Hall and I seeded with wild flowers.
Some all the way through to the Newbold road.  I also seeded with Calamint and a bit has taken on Hunters Lane rise. This should be out of harm’s way when new road put thro.

The Ivy Bee, new to UK in 2002, arrived at Consul Rd from Devon and set up what still might be the only colony in the borough, if not the county.  It should be on the wing in September.
I got the site surveyed and it is now an LWS.

Mike Slater and his Small Blue team have also helped and cut back the brambles on Hunters Embankment but they have regrown since.  Mike may also have seeded.  I think RBC (Steve Cook) is controlling some of the docks that tend to invade.

I had hoped to get local people to help, but though some were interested nobody came forward. I check it out from time to time but it would be good to get it regularly monitored.

Common Blue has established well on the BFT we seeded, We got Warks Flora Group to pay a short visit to Hunters  recently.  See….Hunters Ln LWS plant survey July 2017

A new road is due to be put through from Hunters Lane and I have been working with Warks Ecologists to try to save the important Wych Elm near the abutment. Mike has also met RBC (Colin Horton I think) to look at the newly disturbed area by the new houses.  I haven’t seen an actual management plan for the route tho I have offered advice. (Most important to rake off after an annual cut, which I don’t think they do.)

Report by Phil Parr