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Galloway export drive brings a lift to the Lakes

Downy willow

SUCH is the success of a conservation effort in Galloway, a rare Scottish plant is being exported to England. The downy willow did well on the upper slopes of the Merrick, near Glen Trool, and a project to spread examples to elsewhere with Galloway Forest Park was undertaken some years ago. Now the hope is they can help save near-extinct populations of the species in England's Lake District. Conservationists are gathering seeds of mountain avens in Lochaber as well as Gallovidian downy willow. These are propagated before planting on Cumbria's Helvellyn, the third highest mountain in the Lakes, as the species have been fading there. The downy willow was reduced to 23 isolated female shrubs on the Helvellyn crags, has been boosted by plants propagated from a population in south-west Scotland. Pete Barron, of the John Muir Trust, said the aim was to help surviving populations of the plants in the Lake District become self-sustaining. Scottish Natural Heritage, English Natural Heritage and the John Muir Trust have all been involved with professional gardeners helping bring the species tot he point where they can be replanted.

<< back Published: 05 Aug 2020, 12:05

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