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By Calum David Raine Supervisor: Jonathan P. Winn

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Reintroducing native woodland ground flora to County Durham. Introduction: - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
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By Calum David Raine Supervisor: Reintroducing native woodland ground flora to County Durham Introduction: Much of Durham’s natural woodland was lost due to industry but there has been a recent increase in woodland due to new plantations. However, these new plantations tend to be void of the field layer species that a woodland is expected to have because such plants often have low colonisation abilities that mean it can take hundreds of years for the ground flora species to progress to these new woodlands. Species criteria: Ancient Woodland Indicator? Shade tolerant? Population border near the County? Rare? Easy to introduce? Recommended by local botanist? Attracts fauna? Deters pests? Mentioned in research? High colonisation ability? Visual appeal? Top 50 species from spreadsheet 1) Bluebell 26) Lily of the valley 2) Ramson’s 27) Ground Ivy 3) Primrose 28) Wood Avens 4) Downy Currant 29) Globeflower 5) Stinking Iris 30) Hedge Woundwort 6) Herb Paris 31) Lords-and- ladies 7) Giant Bellflower 32) Yellow Pimpernel 8) Soft Shield Fern 33) Pendulous Sedge 9) Common Dog- violet 34) Chickweed Winter-green 10) Red Campion 35) Remote Sedge 11) Wood Speedwell 36) Wood Millet 12) Great Wood-rush 37) Wild Angelica 13) Wood-sorrel 38) Herb-Robert 14) Wood Barley 39) Wood Stitchwort 15) Wood Anemone 40) Bugle 16) Stone Bramble 41) Bilberry 17) Enchanter’s- nightshade 42) Honeysuckle 18) Sanicle 43) Mountain Melick 19) Sweet Woodruff 44) Common Valerian 20) Daffodil 45) Selfheal 21) Wood Mellick 46) Goldilocks Buttercup 22) Yellow Archangel 47) Giant Fescue 23) Lesser Celandine 48) Common Cow- wheat 24) Greater Stitchwort 49) Meadowsweet 25) Wood Crane’s- bill 50) Foxglove Project Aim: - To choose species suitable for a reintroduction project aiming to assist ground flora species in populating woodland areas - -To begin to investigate how such a project would be implemented Next, the criteria that the chosen species would ideally possess was finalised – as shown on the right. A scoring system was established that deducted points for characteristics that were deemed to be detrimental to the project and awarded points for characteristics the project would benefit from. The system was weighted to make it fair, for example, a plant that fulfilled the criterion of rarity was granted more points than if it was recommended by a local botanist (as the former criterion was seen to be of more worth than the latter). Microsoft Excel also allowed the use of formulas to notify the user of properties of certain species that made them either unusable or desirable for this project (for example, even low scoring species may not be overlooked because a popup box points out they’re visually attractive, likewise, high scoring species may not necessarily be blindly chosen if a popup box points out that it is incompatible with shade). Method The spreadsheet from an extensive woodland survey of County Durham was acquired and used as a starting point – with a species list of approximately 200. Species non-native to Durham were eliminated immediately, along with trees and mosses and species that, through experience, were known to be unsuitable for the project. Moreover, it made recalculating scores after editing them very easy and also it was simple to find the top species for each woodland habitat or each particular criterion. The ecoflora website was used to gain the required information on each species, along with one or two other sites that gave information on flora-fauna links or offered the use of online maps to show the spread of a particular species population. Information was also put into the spreadsheet like germination season, germination requirements, normal method of propagation and while these categories weren’t scored they were collated as information that would prove invaluable when implementing the project. It was decided that: Seed propagated species would have volunteer teams collect seed from areas where the plants already exist Vegetatively propagated species would be introduced as plants and be expected to naturally spread A locally-certified seed supplier could be used if necessary Vegetatively propagated species could be introduced as cuttings or as seedlings pre- established in a nursery Further work: Investigate suitable site preparation methods (coppicing, pruning, use quadrats to trial different litter types to find optimal reintroduction conditions) Circulate a survey (possibly around wildlife trust members) to find out which direction they would like the project to head, so the valuable support of the public and landowners can be gained. - Explore the potential for other ground flora types: mosses, fungi, lichens and so on
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By Calum David RaineSupervisor: Jonathan P. WinnReintroducing native woodland ground flora to County DurhamIntroduction: Much of Durhams natural woodland was lost due to industry but there has been a recent increase in woodland due to new plantations. However, these new plantations tend to be void of the field layer species that a woodland is expected to have because such plants often have low colonisation abilities that mean it can take hundreds of years for the ground flora species to progress to these newwoodlands. Species criteria:

Ancient Woodland Indicator?Shade tolerant?Population border near the County?Rare?Easy to introduce?Recommended by local botanist?Attracts fauna?Deters pests?Mentioned in research?High colonisation ability?Visual appeal?Top 50 species from spreadsheet1) Bluebell26) Lily of the valley2) Ramsons27) Ground Ivy3) Primrose28) Wood Avens 4) Downy Currant29) Globeflower5) Stinking Iris30) Hedge Woundwort6) Herb Paris31) Lords-and-ladies7) Giant Bellflower32) Yellow Pimpernel8) Soft Shield Fern33) Pendulous Sedge9) Common Dog-violet34) Chickweed Winter-green10) Red Campion35) Remote Sedge11) Wood Speedwell36) Wood Millet12) Great Wood-rush37) Wild Angelica13) Wood-sorrel38) Herb-Robert14) Wood Barley39) Wood Stitchwort15) Wood Anemone40) Bugle16) Stone Bramble41) Bilberry17) Enchanters-nightshade42) Honeysuckle 18) Sanicle43) Mountain Melick19) Sweet Woodruff44) Common Valerian20) Daffodil45) Selfheal21) Wood Mellick46) Goldilocks Buttercup22) Yellow Archangel47) Giant Fescue23) Lesser Celandine48) Common Cow-wheat24) Greater Stitchwort49) Meadowsweet25) Wood Cranes-bill50) Foxglove

Project Aim:To choose species suitable for a reintroduction project aiming to assist ground flora species in populating woodland areas-To begin to investigate how such a project would be implemented

Next, the criteria that the chosen species would ideally possess was finalised as shown on the right. A scoring system was established that deducted points for characteristics that were deemed to be detrimental to the project and awarded points for characteristics the project would benefit from. The system was weighted to make it fair, for example, a plant that fulfilled the criterion of rarity was granted more points than if it was recommended by a local botanist (as the former criterion was seen to be of more worth than the latter). Microsoft Excel also allowed the use of formulas to notify the user of properties of certain species that made them either unusable or desirable for this project (for example, even low scoring species may not be overlooked because a popup box points out theyre visually attractive, likewise, high scoring species may not necessarily be blindly chosen if a popup box points out that it is incompatible with shade). Method The spreadsheet from an extensive woodland survey of County Durham was acquired and used as a starting point with a species list of approximately 200. Species non-native to Durham were eliminated immediately, along with trees and mosses and species that, through experience, were known to be unsuitable for the project. Moreover, it made recalculating scores after editing them very easy and also it was simple to find the top species for each woodland habitat or each particular criterion. The ecoflora website was used to gain the required information on each species, along with one or two other sites that gave information on flora-fauna links or offered the use of online maps to show the spread of a particular species population. Information was also put into the spreadsheet like germination season, germination requirements, normal method of propagation and while these categories werent scored they were collated as information that would prove invaluable when implementing the project. It was decided that:

Seed propagated species would have volunteer teams collect seed from areas where the plants already existVegetatively propagated species would be introduced as plants and be expected to naturally spreadA locally-certified seed supplier could be used if necessaryVegetatively propagated species could be introduced as cuttings or as seedlings pre-established in a nurseryFurther work:Investigate suitable site preparation methods (coppicing, pruning, use quadrats to trial different litter types to find optimal reintroduction conditions)Circulate a survey (possibly around wildlife trust members) to find out which direction they would like the project to head, so the valuable support of the public and landowners can be gained.- Explore the potential for other ground flora types: mosses, fungi, lichens and so on


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