1 Current status 1.1 National Purple Ramping-fumitory is a nationally scarce, endemic annual plant which used to be widespread in the mixed farming and arable areas of Britain. However, during the last 50 years it has undergone a drastic decline throughout its former range due to agricultural intensification. Recent records of the plant are mainly… Read More »
1 Current status 1.1 National Occurring in at least 22 coastal localities in the Isle of Man and western Britain from central Scotland to south-west England, the Isle of Man Cabbage is a nationally scarce British endemic. The New Atlas of the British Flora (2002) maps it as native in 34 post-1086 hectads, extending from… Read More »
1 Current status 1.1 National Stoneworts are large algae mostly associated with freshwater bodies ranging in size from deep lakes and canals to small ephemeral ponds. Most species require calcareous, low-nutrient conditions. They are, therefore, fairly restricted in distribution, being largely confined to high water quality habitats on sand, peat or clay substrates. Lesser Bearded… Read More »
In North Merseyside the Dune Helleborine is confined to the Sefton Coast sanddunes. Travis’s Flora of South Lancashire (1963) describes it as “Occasional, locally common … in open, moist hollows in the dunes at the edge of pine plantations”. This is still the case. P.S. Gateley recorded 870 spikes in 1988 and 1911 in 1992 during partial surveys of the dune system. The largest numbers of plants in both years were found in Ainsdale Sand Dunes NNR, the northern and southern extremities of the dune system having few plants. Gateley found that 21% of spikes occurred in pine plantations, while 53% were associated with Creeping Willow Salix repens. The plant avoided Marram Ammophila arenaria-dominated dunes and heavily vegetated fixed-dune pastures but seemed well adapted to disturbance, being often found in areas cleared of conifers, along fence
lines and the edges of footpaths. A large population is now known to occur in the frontal woodlands of Ainsdale NNR. Over 200 spikes were counted in 2007 in the Lifeboat Road woodlands. Small additional colonies have been located at Freshfield Dune Heath Nature Reserve and Altcar Rifle Range.
English Nature carried out a survey of Dune and Green-flowered Helleborine in Ainsdale NNR in 2002 at 130 randomly generated points, but statistical problems associated with small sample sizes prevented rigorous analysis of the results.
Early Sand-grass is confined to the Sefton Coast in north Merseyside. It was first discovered by D.P. Earl and J. Buckley-Earl in April 1996, growing in a small area of dunes on the west side of Southport Marine Lake. The plant’s distribution was mapped by P.H. Smith on 12th April 1999 when it was found to be dominant in many patches over a distance of about 100m, some of the patches being up to 10m in diameter but many much smaller. Most of the population was associated with the south to south-east facing slope of a low (3m-high) dune ridge. Some small patches were also found on a plateau area to the west of the ridge. All patches of Early Sandgrass were in poorly vegetated areas with a high proportion of bare sand, often on the
fringes of sandy, informal footpaths. The most abundant of 16 associated plants were Kidney Vetch, Little Mouse-ear and Common Whitlow-grass. A repeat survey in 2004 showed the plant’s area had increased by 47% to 2158m2. Regular visits from 2005 to 2007 suggest the grass is doing well and continuing to spread.