Plant­ing water plan­tain

Canal Boat - - News -

CHIL­DREN FROM ST ED­WARDS Church of Eng­land Pri­mary School in Castle­ton, Rochdale, are pic­tured at work with vol­un­teers from the Canal & River Trust, help­ing to en­sure the con­tin­ued sur­vival of a rare aquatic plant.

The Trust, work­ing in partnership with the Es­mée Fair­bairn Foundation and the play­ers of the Peo­ple’s Post­code Lottery, is try­ing to re­verse the long-term de­cline of float­ing water plan­tain, Luro­ni­um­natans. Ch­ester Zoo has also been help­ing, by grow­ing the rare plants that are be­ing planted be­tween locks 53 and 54 at Mad­den Fold.

The Rochdale Canal is des­ig­nated as a Site of Spe­cial Sci­en­tific In­ter­est (SSSI) due to the var­ied plant pop­u­la­tions and a Spe­cial Area of Con­ser­va­tion due to the pres­ence of float­ing water plan­tain.

The project – part of a wider scheme that also takes in Birm­ing­ham’s 35-mile canal net­work – was made pos­si­ble through a grant of £ 249,000 over three years from the Es­mée Fair­bairn Foundation and £127,000 do­nated from play­ers of Peo­ple’s Post­code Lottery. Richard He­witt, team man­ager of hor­ti­cul­ture and botany at Ch­ester Zoo, said: “Most peo­ple as­so­ciate Ch­ester Zoo with the con­ser­va­tion of rare and en­dan­gered an­i­mal species from all over the world, but we are also work­ing to pro­tect our very own na­tive species here in the UK – in­clud­ing these very rare aquatic plants.”

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