Wildlife Trust volunteers set the plant record straight

Katie Milburn, Stephanie Disley and Ian Coote tell Radio Lancashire's Ted Robbins
Katie Milburn, Stephanie Disley and Ian Coote tell Radio Lancashire's Ted Robbins
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While most Lancashire Wildlife Trust volunteers are knee deep in bogs or scything through woodland, one team has been wading through thousands of pieces of information.

Talking Records has involved a team of “wildlife custodians” imputing extensive plant records.

Ian Coote celebrated by typing in the last of 13,457 paper records into the database, which will be a vital source of information for botanists, researchers and students in future.

The records date back to the 1600s and include bog rosemary (Andromeda polifolia) found on Middleton Moss in 1688, the moss is now a Lancashire Wildlife Trust nature reserve.

Other records include the sand leek, which is a wild onion, found on meadows near Preston in 1700 and Angellis tenella, which is the bog pimpernel, which was found on Yealand Common in 1775.

The records are taken from cards belonging to the county flora recorder Eric Greenwood,to act as an online supplement to his book Flora of North Lancashire, which was published last year.

Volunteer Ian who, at the age of 52, is finishing a degree in marine biology at Blackpool College, has been involved in the project since it started last April.

Ian said: “This has been a really interesting project. Some of the cards have been difficult to decipher but using Eric’s book was a big help.

“There have been a lot of marine plants in the records so it has been useful for my marine biology studies.

“It has certainly increased my knowledge of plants in the region.”

Lancashire Wildlife Trust volunteers work all over on reserves removing scrub, cutting down trees, digging ditches as well as taking part in wildlife surveys, working in welcome centres and in administrative posts.

Volunteer co-ordinator Catherine Haddon said: “We have volunteers from every age group and different backgrounds.

They all share a passion for wildlife and see volunteering as a chance to get out of their homes to do something different and to meet new people with the same interests.”

Anyone interested in volunteering should contact volunteer@lancswt.org.uk or ring 01772 318374.