Jubilee nature trail open to public near Lancaster

A free jubilee nature trail is open to the public this weekend.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Thursday, 2nd June 2022, 3:55 pm

On the northern side of the lower Lune Valley, to the east of Lancaster, there is a small area of land which stands out from the silage-scalped, livestock-grazed farmland.

Here plant growth is left to mature. Native wildflowers, grasses, ferns and lichens thrive. They support a host of insects, small mammals and birds.

The occasional visits of the nocturnal badger and barn and tawny owls hunting voles in their grassy tunnels add to the variety of life here.

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St Saviour's, Aughton.

The owner of this land is the Church of England and the location is St Saviour’s, Aughton.

Since 2013 the majority of the ground has been left unmown from March to early autumn, leaving the grasses and wildflowers to bloom and set seed.

The result is a seasonal floral parade ranging from primroses, celandine and bluebells in spring through to ox-eye daisy, buttercups and vetches followed by knapweed, tormentil, and harebell.

A remarkable aspect of this abundance of native wildflowers is that none of them have been seeded or planted here.

Wildlife at Aughton.

This diversity has sprung from existing dormant seeds in the soil or brought in by birds or mammals.

An informal annual survey of the plants in the churchyard has been carried out by amateur botanist volunteers. The plant species have been increasing year on year and lately have been more than 50 species in what is actually quite a small area.

For those who would like to visit the site, the churchyard will be open from 11am to 4pm on Sunday June 5.

Families can enjoy a ‘nature trail’ and the team will be talking about the incredible array of wildflowers that can be found.

Wildlife at Aughton.

In fact, the churchyard was featured in the 2022 issue of ‘Wildlife in N Lancashire’, and everyone is extremely proud of what is being created.

In addition, some of Aughton’s star bakers will have been busy in their kitchens and there will be delicious home-made cakes on offer. Hot drinks and squash will also be available.

The nature trail, which is a free event, combined with the playground at the recreation room, make this a wonderful way to entertain and educate children and grandchildren.

Harebells at Aughton's St Saviour's Church.