Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Greenham Common and the Starfruit

This flower is the Starfruit. I have to say I had never heard of the Starfruit until the other day.

Named for its star-shaped fruit, this pretty, aquatic flower has been hanging on at a handful of sites in southeast England for the last decade. However this year, not a single plant appeared in the wild, meaning that Starfruit could be facing a very real chance of becoming extinct. The main cause of Starfruits decline, and the main threat to its future, is the disappearance of ponds in the countryside, particularly in pastures where cattle trample the mud as they drink.

Now Greenham Common is at the centre of efforts to save one of the UKs rarest flowers classified as endangered and a priority species on the UK Governments Biodiversity Action Plan. It has all but disappeared in Britain but on Tuesday 28th November, a group of conservationists made a last ditch attempt to establish a population at Greenham Common.

The restoration of the common has created a series of muddy pools that the livestock use for drinking and wallowing in. The Starfruit seedlings and seed, which the conservationists planted below the surface of the ponds came from the Millennium Seed Bank.

Fingers crossed this is one that can be saved.

1 comment:

Andy said...

A sad story but thank you for bringing it to our attention. I may well link to this in my 'briefly' section on my own space. It's something a lot of my regular readers would be very keen on reading, I think. x