Beginning an urban botany project…
On March 27th, the day the clocks went forward I set out as planned to do my first survey for this urban botany project of mine. I’d put it in my diary weeks prior and decided that whatever the weather I would go out…at least for a bit.
It was cold, wet and windy. I headed for zone 7:
Zone 7 is the one at the top, the big one with the freight terminal and Old Trafford in. I walked to Old Trafford, passed the stadium, down the steps and onto the Bridgewater Canal tow path. The north towpath of this stretch of the canal is arguably outside the Gorse Hill boundary but for this project it is the boundary, as to exclude it would be to exclude my favorite patch of habitat in the area. This was also my reason for making it the site of my first survey. There might be lots of pavements with not much growing on to come, but the towpath was sure to get the project off to a fruitful start.
I worked my way west, starting just to the west of the bridge which carries Sir Matt Busby Way, and covered a couple of hundred meters of the towpath embankment, recording the 30 or so species listed below…
|Common name||Latin name|
|Grey willow||Salix cinerea agg|
|Great willowherb||Epilobium hirsutum|
|Common nettle||Urtica dioica|
|Michaelmas daisy||Aster novi-belgii agg|
|Broad-leaf dock||Rumex obtusifolius|
|Herb robert||Geranium robertianum|
|Common ragwort||Senecio jacobaea|
|Ribwort plantain||Plantago lanceolata|
|Great mullein||Verbascum thapsus|
|Oxeye daisy||Leucanthemum vulgare|
|Oak spp.||Quercus spp.|
|Fox glove||Digitalis purpurea|
|Creeping buttercup||Ranunculus repens|
|Common hogweed||Heracleum sphondylium|
|Nightshade (to be confirmed)||Solanum spp.|
|Spanish bluebell||Hyacinthoides hispanica|
|Moss spp. #1||Grimmia pulvinata|
|Petty spurge||Euphorbia peplus|
|Colts foot||Tussilago farfara|
So if you’re local/interested get on down there. Since that survey the bluebells have come out in flower. There is also a chunky Japanese Knotweed stem working its way up the fence at one spot now. And a patch of some rather lovely white deadnettle.
So far so good. I’ll add updates as I go. Feedback welcome.