BBC News

Flowers of Scotland sent south to English hills

image copyrightJahama Highland Estates
image captionA conservationist looking for mountain avens in Lochaber
Seeds of alpine Arctic plants found widely in Scotland could help save near-extinct populations of the species in England's Lake District.
Conservationists are collecting seeds of mountain avens in Lochaber and downy willow in Dumfries and Galloway.
The seeds are then propagated before being planted on the slopes of Helvellyn, the third highest mountain in the Lake District.
The plants have been disappearing from this area of Cumbria.
Seeds of mountain avens are being gathered from plants growing on the Jahama Highland Estates near Fort William.
The plant, which grows in cold, sunny locations, has been found on lime-rich ridges at a height of 850m (2,800ft) on Beinn na Socaich, a mountain in the Grey Corries.
image copyrightJahama Highland Estates
image captionFlowering mountain avens
Scottish Natural Heritage, Natural England and the John Muir Trust have worked with the estates' owners, GFG Alliance, in collecting mountain avens seeds.
It is part of a wider project to support vulnerable alpine Arctic plants in the Lake District.
The downy willow, which was reduced to 23 isolated female shrubs on the Helvellyn crags, has been boosted by plants propagated from a population in Dumfries and Galloway.
Pete Barron, of the John Muir Trust, said the aim was to help surviving populations of the plants in the Lake District become self-sustaining.
He said there were just two sites with mountain avens in the Lake District.
Conservationists have been helped by professional gardeners in propagating the seeds.
image copyrightJahama Highland Estates
image captionPete Barron says the aim of the project is to help make surviving sites in the Lake District become self-sustaining

Related Topics

  • Helvellyn
  • Fort William
  • Flowers