Trampled flower survives!

A rare flower which grows in Wales has incredibly been kept alive because of walkers trampling through the mud on a coastal path in Anglesey.

The three-lobed water-crowfoot, which is a rare member of the buttercup family, has been able to grow because of the walkers trampling and loosening the mud on which the flower grows. The tiny plant can grow in shallow pools, puddles and tracks which have been left by passing tractors.

The flowers need to grow and mature quickly to stay alive before the puddles begin to dry out during summer. The flower sheds its seeds in early muddy spring.

Trevor Dines from Plantlife Cymru says there are fewer than 20 plants, including the water-crowfoot, which grow in the ditch along the side of the path. He said they don’t always get to work with beautiful orchids in wide open meadows, sometime they have to get muddy to be rewarded with a flower. Where the flower grows there are no animals like cattle or sheep to disturb the ground so the flower relies on people.

Mr Dines explains that in parts of Anglesey and the Lleyn Peninsula the three-lobed water-crowfoot needs help to grow from the public. Plantlife experts and volunteers have been doing a project to help clear overgrown pools to allow cattle and horses to trample around the edges, to create that much needed open mud.

Mr Dines said that when the animals move from pool to pool they are treading the seeds in the hooves and allowing the flower to grow in various locations across Wales. Across the whole of Wales the number of places the flower grows has doubled since 1999.