Local Wildlife Site Monitoring 2014: Old Mineral Line, Lea Green

This is one of those strange places characteristic of north Merseyside and parts of Wigan where reed canary-grass grows in seemingly dry grassland.  I once surveyed the line of a proposed road in Wigan and had to leave part of the site because someone had helpfully set fire to it and the grassland was ablaze.  When I came back a couple of months later to finish the job, reed canary-grass had grown up all over the burnt area, despite it being dry as a bone.  This is supposed to be a swamp plant but there’s no accounting for taste !

This site is on the edge of the conurbation of St Helens and has an industrial history, being part of the local brickworks.  There are slag heaps and mounds and wet drains all over the place, making for quite an interesting place in terms of biodiversity.  Interesting enough to be a Local Wildlife Site, in fact.Sign at site entrance Old Mineral Line Lea Green

The site is a mosaic of grassland and woodland with some interesting open dry grassland on steep slopes, providing habitat for seven locally rare plant species.

tall grassland with chicoryopen dry grassland with red fescue

The site is open to the public with good footpaths/cycleways provided.


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