Sunday, 10 September 2017

Terns and Weeds

Two things today. What do they say about conservation?

A delightful story about the Leek-coloured Hawkweed, a flower thought to be globally extinct, but recently found to be growing in small colonies in Monsal Dale  and Chee Dale in the Peak.

Only the most enthusiastic of nature-lovers will claim to be confident in identifying the range of hawkweeds and near relatives. Most of us may love to see them but are shy of committing ourselves; we may even be happy with "a bit like a dandelion", there are so many broadly similar yellow flowers; in this case hundreds of species and 'microspecies'. And this one was only identified as a separate species 60 or so years ago.

So the news that there are people who dedicate at least part of their lives to spotting the differences is genuinely heartwarming.

BBC radio's Open Country programme featured the National Trust's recently purchased property on the Northumberland coast (£1.5 million). Here the Little Tern is protected from every known threat and watched over 24 hours a day by NT's volunteers because it can't look after itself. There are plans for rising tides, predators etc.

How far do we go? The hawkweed was simply 'found'.

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