June 20th – To my dismay, the agressive and pointlessly regular towpath mowing schedule continues on local canals, to the detriment of wildflowers growing there, like the poor orchids.
In recent years, the canal management have insisted on having the canalside grass mown every month – not only is this unnecessary, it inhibits the growth of some wonderful species and destroys others in their prime.
The mower had been through today, and although the operator was mindful of some orchids, many more were destroyed.
If the grass had been left another month, it would have been to no detriment and huge benefit.
Frustrating and pointless.
June 6th – There’s a splendid display of orchids this year in the meadows, wetland margins and by the canal – but sadly many have been destroyed – or stunted – by the agressive local towpath mowing schedule by the Canal and River Trust.
Can they not tolerate a bit of uncut grass for a few weeks while these bee-attracting beauties thrive? Perhaps they could use the manpower to fix some of the leaks and failing infrastructure instead…
June 17th – This is joyous.On the banks of the new pond at Clayhanger, what I believe to be northern marsh orchids growing in profusion. The grass is not cut here, and there must be 40 or so of these beautiful purple flowers. They are doing well, and they’re just gorgeous.
The whole bank running down from the towpath is a carpet of wildflowers, and alive with bugs and bees.
There are usually a few marsh orchids on the towpath up towards Aldridge, but the Canal and River Trust’s ferocious and inflexible mowing schedule means that all the best specimens have this year been shredded to pulp in the name of tidiness.
Let’s hope the mowing zealots don’t spot these…
June 12th – They missed one! Thankfully, here are still one or two marsh orchids the mower didn’t slay; I spotted this healthy speciment on the opposite flank of the Clayhanger Bridge opposite the towpath. I still can’t forgive the buggers for mowing the others down.
These are gorgeous blooms. Look out for them.