Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Aliens and Sojourners

This is my alien Echium pininana sp. The silver thing in the front is just a  cut up crisp packet on a stick to frighten pigeons,. My Alien has a sparse midriff caused by winter damage. The cane is 6'high so you can see how far my Triffid has grown , its an alien because its not a native species. Its is not an I.A.S( Invasive Alien Species) because it rarely survives a North Yorkshire winter, and although hundreds of seedlings could  come from the seed of this one plant, they are so easily spotted and removed . 

Impatiens f. By River Hertford
 I have twice been in a group visit to nearby Flixton Carr with Tim Burkinshaw  of the Carrs Wetland Project . Here he explained how Impatiens glandiflera is now an I.A.S and it is being removed from the banks of the River Hertford as part of their Conservation Work , as it taking over from all the native Species.
Impatiens f is my favourite example of Seed Dispersal . I have picked the plant  for years to equip class after class of Children with a great example of ballistic dispersal . (Great maths too).The seeds may explode out across from the plant 23feet . 
Land  management these days is beginning to catch up with Good Practice in the light of mistakes made in generations before.   Hedges were removed across our agricultural land in the 1950s and 60s as fields were merged to increase  the food supply in Post War Britain . 60 years later costly remedial schemes and set aside grants , and hasty schemes and   long term schemes of enthusiastic professionals and Nature Conservancy groups  try to repair the biosystems.
R Hertford 
 . I remember my father talking about it when I was a child, as we drove frequently from Sutton village across Holderness to  friends in Skeffling.
 We'll rue the day ' He used to say ,
 and he was right.  My sisters and I recall passing through the villages of Preston, Keyingham  and Patrington being told each time the changes that were observed. '
So what about aliens ? Who decides what is a good alien or an IAS? Obvious species like Japanese Knotweed can grow through Concrete and damage foundations, and yet was introduced as an Ornamental by our passionate Victorian Plant hunters . I can call it  an undesirable alien .

Ive just been down Queen Street and checked to see if the removal of the Japanese Knotweed has been successful . Judge for yourself! ..>>>>>>>>>>>>

Gardeners all over Britain are growing  or trying to grow to an inflorescence of the Giant Vipers Bugloss Echium pininana.  Bees love it and one flower spike can last throughout the summer . I want to conserve bees, who I understand are also a threatened species. Echiums are great for this. Am I worried that my alien species will take over Filey ? Am I worried that in 100 years time they will be serious problem because Global warming has meant that all seedlings are likely to survive a Filey Winter? I am thinking about it responsibly. 

Here is a little sojourner for you . This Aquilegia is growing in a crack in Sandhill lane by the iron  bridge to St Oswalds and the Country Park . I give it 2 weeks before the SBC team are out with their weedkiller.

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