Building up buttercups on special site near Sodbury

June 01 2016

A RARE buttercup found in only two places in the UK - including a site near Chipping Sodbury - is to be nurtured by conservationists.

A RARE buttercup found in only two places in the UK - including a site near Chipping Sodbury - is to be nurtured by conservationists.
They have launched a project to protect the adder’s tongue spearwort, which grows on Inglestone Common.  
The scheme, led by the South Gloucestershire Biodiversity Action Group, has received funding from Wessex Water to help protect and care for the plant and its environment.
It is planned to use the £2,500 grant to develop a method for reintroducing the plant, which could help also conservationists support the rare species on other sites.
Robert Moreton, of the action group, said: “The money will help fund the planting of the adder’s tongue spearwort and then monitor and document seed which has set.”
As a mud plant, the species of buttercup relies on areas of bare, wet ground to set seed and thrive.
For many years, cattle turned out onto the common kept the wildflower grasslands open and ponds grazed, allowing the plant to thrive in the wet, muddy edges.
In recent years, land management practices have changed and scrub has encroached around ponds, while cattle numbers have dropped. This has been mirrored by a reduction in plant numbers to a critical point.
Regulatory scientist Dave Jones, said: “The project will really help turn around the fortunes of the buttercup by researching and understanding the plant’s requirements and by removing scrub so new areas can be recreated where the plant can flourish.”