Monthly Archives: March 2013

Nottingham Spring Crocus

I recently saw a good example of the Spring Crocus, Crocus vernus, in the garden of a house in New Basford :

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Crocuses are a familiar sight in parks and gardens at this time of year, but these particular plants have an interesting history.  They were planted as a gift from a neighbour, whose own garden was full of them; they had originally been planted in her garden many decades previously by her son, who rescued them from a meadow near the Trent when it was destroyed for development.

This is a plant of local significance.  Although Crocus vernus is not native to the UK, it is considered an ancient introduction, having been naturalised around Nottingham since the 15th Century.  The plant (native to the Balkans) was introduced in the medieval period for medicinal uses, and was thus associated with monasteries – in Nottingham it is believed to have originated from Lenton Priory.

Its origin in Nottingham may be uncertain, but it certainly prospered here; Trentside meadows used to be well-known for their extensive drifts of the flowers.   Sadly most of these meadow sites have been built on, and the flower occurs on a much reduced scale in the wild here now.  Nottingham Spring Crocus is now the subject of a Species Action Plan by the Notts Biodiversity Action Group.

These plants are a direct link to an intriguing piece of Nottingham’s botanical history; let’s hope the species can start to prosper again and reclaim its important place in the local landscape.

Peregrines return to city centre

The Peregrine Falcons have returned to their nesting site on Nottingham Trent University’s Newton Building, in the centre of Nottingham.  Peregrines (which are the fastest flying birds on the planet) have become more common in city centres across the country, as high buildings are ideal, safe nesting sites for them.

There is a permanent webcam showing the falcons’ nest which can be viewed online.  It’s good the birds have returned again – look out for them if you’re in the city centre.

Visiting Attenborough

A visit to Attenborough Nature Centre is always a good reminder of the value of this great reserve, only a few miles from central Nottingham, and easily reached using public transport.

As a taster, here’s the great view from the Keith Corbett Memorial Hide, looking south-east towards the Trent…..

Clifton Pond

Well worth a visit!