Biodiversity project protects rare wildflower

A rare wildflower in Denbighshire is to be given a helping hand for future growth.

The Council’s biodiversity team are working to protect a species of wildflower found only at a single site in the county.

Following the Council’s declaration of a climate and ecological emergency in 2019, the wildflower meadows project is part of an ongoing commitment to enhancing biodiversity across the county.

During 2020 the project has grown to now include over 100 sites managed for wildflower meadow conservation equivalent to nearly 35 football pitches worth of grassland managed as native wildflower meadows.

Bithynian Vetch, a species of flowering plant in the bean family Fabaceae grows on a single project site managed by the biodiversity team.

Since 2019, this is the only place in Wales it has been recorded growing in the wild.

Team members while surveying the site this year, recorded the plant in flower and also several plants in the area.

During June staff collected a small number of seeds from the Bithynian Vetch. These were taken back to the Council’s tree nursery at St Asaph to be grown on site.

Cllr Barry Mellor, Lead Member for Environment and Transport, said: “It is great to see our wildflower meadow project sites supporting the protection and growth of rare plants in Denbighshire. This project lead by our biodiversity team is giving species at our marked wildflower sites across the county the chance to survive and thrive.

“This is a good example of how the project and our tree nursery which aims to produce 5,000 plants and 5,000 trees a year, will link up to protect and improve our local biodiversity.

“Once the Bithynian Vetch is grown at the nursery, it will be planted in a suitable location on site, to provide a safe refuge where staff can monitor it and ensure that it will not go extinct.”

This project has also been funded by Welsh Government, through the Local Nature Partnerships Cymru ENRaW project.

To find out more about the wildflower meadows across Denbighshire visit the link below

https://www.denbighshire.gov.uk/en/environmental-health/climate-and-ecological-change/wildflower-meadow-project.aspx