Plantlife, the wild plant conservation charity are asking for people to help them with a national Cowslip Survey.
Cowslips are one of our best-known spring flowers and often appear along banks in April and May. An important symbol of our once flower-rich meadows, did you know that cowslips can also reveal secrets about the health of the grassy places where they grow?
There are actually two types of cowslip and the difference is in the flowers. One is the “S-morph” where the male parts (the stamen) are easy to spot, but in the other – the “L-morph” – only the top of the female part (the stigma) is visible.
In healthy cowslip populations, there are equal numbers of both types of flower. However, this 50:50 ratio becomes imbalanced when the cowslip population declines due to loss of habitat or if there is a change in agricultural practices. Consequently, knowing the ratios in the area helps us understand more about the quality of our grasslands.
How can you help?
Simply google the Plantlife website and you will find full instructions on downloading the app.
Those of you walking around the Parish could easily incorporate the surveying in your exercise!!