Saturday 16 May 2020

Lockdown Day 54 - Edgeland Nature-Part 1

Ever since I read Edgelands by Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts I have had a affinity for nature that can cling on in those spaces that sit between roads or are former site of buildings or industry or just simply places as yet untouched by the developer's digger on the edge of towns. You will have probably seen buddleia and ragweed take over a site where a building has been demolished, or bushes and small trees take over abandoned railway sidings. Nature clings on in the most unlikely of places if left undisturbed.

In this first part I look at spaces where nature has been given a little helping hand to flourish on sites where you would have thought that the pollution or disturbance from traffic would have prohibited it from being successful.

These are Six-spot Burnet Moths on orchids next to the junction of the slip road off the A64 into the centre of York. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust have looked after this site and when we visited a couple of years ago, this quite small triangle of land was full of orchids and other wild flowers and a hundred or more of these moths, feeding on the nectar of these flowers and happily engaging in producing the next generation!

Under the dual carriageway bridge and round the corner, in Spring cowslips, bluebells and gorse flower.

This is next to the junction of Derby Road/University Boulevard and Queens Road in Beeston, Nottingham. The area has been seeded with wild flowers and many bees and other insects were flying around and pollinating the flowers and feeding on the nectar.

This junction is incredibly busy with traffic and you also have the tram lines going across the junction too.

Until 1986 this was the site of Ledston Luck colliery. This pit was linked underground to the nearby Micklefield pit, which I remember going past many times on the train to York when a child. After mining finished part of the site was turned into an industrial estate and part into a nature reserve, now managed by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.

Like so many sites around the country, unless you knew the history, it is now difficult to see what the site was previously, nature quickly returns and takes over where industry once ruled.

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