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Badgeworth Nature Reserve Glos WLT

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Liz Heard View Drop Down
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    Posted: 12 Jul 2019 at 5:37pm
Hi folks

I was recently given permission (thanks Ellen) to visit what used to be - prior to a modest expansion - the world's smallest nature reserve. Normally closed to the public, 80% of the site was a shallow pond which, in addition to boasting all 3 newt species, is home to the very rare (only 2 UK sites, both in Glos) Adder's-tongue Spearwort Ranunculus ophioglossifolius.
This plant is a poor competitor and has very specific needs in terms of seasonal draw-down levels and suppression of competition (a requirement traditionally met by the trampling of hoofed mammals).

The species differs from the similar Lesser Spearwort by bearing heart-shaped lower leaves and slightly smaller flowers with petals that do not overlap.

I've no idea how it got it's common name. As far as i can see, no part of the plant bears any resemblance to an adder's tongue!

   





Over the fence in the adjacent field i spotted a Crack Willow tree playing host to Giant Polypore fungus Meripilus giganteus. The name is justified as this species can grow up to nearly 2 metres!



Cheers
Ben
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chubsta View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chubsta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jul 2019 at 9:45pm
I have often wondered how you end up with such small populations of an organism, are they remnants of a far more widespread population that has died out or are they the result of a chance visit by something like a bird etc that has a seed stuck to it and which happens to land in the one place where it can survive?
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