Leaves of all shapes and textures, including Mallow, Burdock and Mayweed.
As a part of our ongoing muck heap works, a new bank was created from well rotted manure behind the pens of our Saddleback and Potbellied pigs. This loose, nutrient-rich area was left unplanted to allow local flora to colonise and in just a few short months, it has quickly turned a lush green, filled with new foliage. This morning, I visited the site with local botanist and Mudchute trustee, John Swindells, to find out more about some of the plants which have found their way to the new bank.
The area which was once bare ground is now lush and green.
Botanist John Swindells examines the colonising flora.
Henbane and Sowthistle are among the many plants establishing themselves.
Common Mallow is among several of the plants currently in flower.
Field and Opium poppies are also in flower, alongside the yellow flowers of Nipplewort.
The distinctive shape of Shepherd’s Purse.
Italian Rye Grass also appears to be thriving.
It’s not too difficult to imagine how the Spiny Sowthistle got its name!
Mayweed flowers. The delicate feathery foliage of this plant makes up much of the growth on the mound.
Disturbed land and a lack of taller plants provides opportunities for low-lying plants like this Lesser Swinecress.
Fat Hen and other Chenopodium are also thriving.
Black Horehound with its distinctive odour when disturbed.
Invertebrates such as this ladybird larva have also moved onto the mound and we found evidence of fox activity as well.
Flowering Fat Hen, Poppy and Potato (perhaps an allotment escapee!).
It was great to see so many wild species moving into the area so quickly and we look forward to watching the area develop and mature. The plants found growing on the mound are also found throughout Mudchute, so be sure to keep an eye out for these species on your next visit!