By Rob Rowe (May 2020)
Some of the road verges around Bishops Castle have been looking great this spring.
Travelling a couple of miles away on my bike I saw this group of Dusky cranesbill straddling the border near Sned. Not really a native of the UK it does crop up occasionally. It was mentioned in Leightons Flora of Shropshire in 1841 and has been known in the wild since 1724. Native of the mountains of central and southern Europe.
Close to this and again just inside Shropshire is a stand of Water avens. This is the only place I know it on a roadside around this area.
In another nearby lane which is really botanically rich there was a fine display of Wood anemone, Bitter vetch and just around the corner a solitary head of Early purple orchid, a very occasional find on roadsides.
Just north of Lydham is a wide verge which we have been managing for the last 3 years. It was already quite flower-rich so it has been a matter of removing the cut growth each year at the end of the season. Yellow rattle was introduced to try and reduce the vigour of some of the grass. This is working well.
Last year the National Trust volunteers helped in a variety of locations around the area and hopefully later in the year this may happen again.