Bog star shines in the dunes . . . ALAN WRIGHT

Middleton Guardian - - WILDLIFE -

win­ter yet. There are so many flow­ers still bloom­ing in our gar­den at the mo­ment – es­pe­cially our fan­tas­tic stand of sweet peas. And wild flow­ers are colour­ing the land­scape, too.

I was out on the dunes at St Annes over the week­end with 20 won­der­ful vol­un­teers. We were try­ing to im­prove the chances of rare plants grow­ing af­ter the dev­as­tat­ing fire over the sum­mer.

The prob­lem is that some of the plants that are now grow­ing on the rav­aged soil are quite com­mon while rar­i­ties are still hid­ing in the seed bank. So we were rough­ing up the sand to make it eas­ier for those plants to thrive next year.

De­spite that car­nage, plants like the Isle of Man cab­bage, which grows on the dunes, is show­ing in some ar­eas, al­though it is not as wide­spread as usual. In fact, we only saw one of two blooms blow­ing in the sea­side breeze.

This plant is quite spec­tac­u­lar with its four-leafed yel­low flower, which can rise about a foot out of a rosettes of leaves, that ac­tu­ally look like rocket.

In be­tween the tea and cake stall and the fire site, I spot­ted some white flow­ers.

Th­ese were grass-ofPar­nas­sus – and that is re­ally ex­cit­ing. I had heard of th­ese beau­ti­ful flow­ers on one of our Pen­nine moor­land re­serves but I had for­got­ten they are also found on the dunes.

I think this was my first en­counter with a

Grass of Parn­sas­sus at St Annes

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