You might ask, what have we been up to lately?
Well, we have been busy with invasive species recently. Those of you who have helped out in the past with removing Ragwort and Himilayan Balsam will have fond memories of those times!
Ragwort is a plant that, when eaten by livestock, causes liver damage. This summer we have helped The Widlife Trust at Pegsdon Hills pull this plant out of the ground. It is found in grasslands but it quite visible at this time of year on the grass verges at the side of roads.
Himilayan Balsam is a non-native species (as its name suggests). It was introduced as a colourful plant with a rather remarkable way of spreading seeds – the pods explode, catapulting many seeds several metres away from the plant.
They spread vigorously, often helped by streams and rivers that they grow near. The good news here is that pulling the plants before they seed has a good impact in following years. Again, working with The Wildlife Trust, we have been helping remove this plant from sites alongside the River Flit upstream from Flitwick Moor (one of the sites they are trying to protect from this species).
It hasn’t all been about invasive species though, as we’ve been helping provide ideal conditions for native plants such as Common Spotted and Bee Orchids through grassland management and we have started a project replacing steps at Dallow Downs in Luton.
If you want to join other volunteers and help us to protect our native flora, construct steps etc., click here for opportunities. For further information you can also e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01234 217553.