May 2017 Task

Task Report Sunny day to remove a patch of reed and grass that could over shadow any creeping marshwort in the scrape.

On Sunday 7 May 2017, LBCV will be doing a practical conservation task on Walthamstow Marshes(SSSI) to help the nationally rare Creeping Marshwort, Apium repens (Jacq.) Lag., Apiaceae. It is classified as Critically Endangered in the UK and classified as Vulnerable in Europe.

Creeping marshwort
Creeping marshwort on Walthamstow Marsh May 2017

Conservation Task Details

Creeping Marshwort, Apium repens (Jacq.) Lag., Apiaceae, is a small, creeping perennial that is listed under the Habitats Directive because of its scarcity and decline in Europe.

Creeping marshwort, Apium repens (Jacq.) Lag., Apiaceae, is known in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco and in the Canaries. In Europe it is widely scattered, being found at sites in the Czech Republic, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium and Holland. It grows in a wide range of habitats from mown graves in Austria, riverside gravel banks in Slovenia, under water in Italy, to slightly saline pasture and dune slacks in Holland.

Creeping marshwort has always been rare in England and Scotland with sites in Essex, Norfolk, Yorkshire, Fife and Argyle. During the 1960s it was only known at three sites in Oxfordshire and by the 1970s it was only observed at one site in the whole country. In 2002 it was discovered growing on Walthamstow Marsh, by botanist Brian Wuzzell, near a ditch created by former LVRPA Ranger Dave Miller to help the dragonfly populations. The same ditch is now also supporting a colony of Water Voles. This North East London site is often referred to as Essex in the Oxford Meadows SPAC writings.

The one site known in the UK in 1995 is now designated part of the Oxford Meadows Special Area for Conservation. A Species Action Plan was drawn up in 1995 and the Rare Plants Group of the Ashmolean Natural History Society of Oxfordshire was funded to carry out fieldwork under the Species Recovery Programme. The task LBCV is doing on Sunday is drawn from this work and is following a management plan from Natural England.

Join Us

As always everybody is welcome to volunteer with LBCV. No experience is required. Please wear sturdy footwear and appropriate clothing for the work and weather.

We can provide wellingtons in the morning and you must return them. So please arrive in plenty of time to select your pair. Please bring some lunch.

LBCV will provide tools, training, gloves, tea, coffee and biscuits.

Please arrive from 9:30am onwards at the Waterworks Centre Lammas Road, off Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, London E10 7QT, for a 10am departure. The meeting place is the former golf centre across from the former Greyhound Public House on Lea Bridge Road. We will leave at 10am for a walk to the task site. Volunteers are welcome to meet us on site, before the tools talk, please text 07757 766950, before 9am on Sunday, so we can provide enough tools and gloves.

Please lock bicycles to the stands in front of the Waterworks Centre. There is ample free car parking there too. Dogs are not allowed on the Nature Reserve so please do not cross the bridge with dogs or ride bicycles in the nature reserve. Dogs are still welcome on some tasks, including this one, we just request that their owners wait with the LBCV catering team at the Waterworks Centre, while the tools are loaded. Please read this article if you think we are being draconian

As usual we will have post task refreshments in the Hare and Hounds on Lea Bridge Road.

Volunteering and doing a conservation task with LBCV in North East London, is great way to meet new people, learn new skills, use old skills, be more active, get closer to nature, make a difference and have some fun with like minded people in the Lea Valley Regional Park.
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