You might have read our previous post a few months ago on how we were preparing a site to reintroduce Stapwort, a plant that has been extinct at Loe Pool for 100 years (http://lizardandpenrose.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/rare-plant-reintroduction-at-penrose.html). Well, last Thursday we planted out over 1000 seedlings in a trial reintroduction.
|Tracey (Conservation Officer at WWCT)|
Our partners on the project, Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust (WWCT), safely delivered 15 trays of plug plants, which their horticulture team had grown from seed in the Paignton Zoo greenhouses. The team from WWCT joined the National Trust team to relocate the plants to their new home along the stoney shoreline of Loe Pool.
|Alex's area of study.|
Also joining us was Alex, a student from Exeter University’s Penryn campus, who will be monitoring the survival rate and hopefully the spread of Strapwort over the summer. Alex is going into his third year studying Conservation Biology and Ecology and this research will feed into his dissertation as well as informing the project team on the success of the reintroduction. Alongside this research we will also be carrying out plant counts later in the summer and in the following years to monitor how well the Strapwort is managing to set seed.
|The strapwort is planted in areas of bare ground.|
The water level of Loe Pool is relatively low at the moment and it should carry on dropping, which is ideal as the Strapwort needs a dry period in the summer. Clearing the site last winter means the scrub is no longer shading the shoreline and we will be carrying out careful management of the area to ensure the habitat is kept suitable. Winter strimming and hand weeding in the summer will help to reduce competition from other plants. We are aiming to keep this area open and free from scrub to encourage more wild flowers to grow alongside the footpath.
|Clearing the site has also opened up views across Carminowe Creek to Loe Bar.|