About fifty years ago The Astley Hall Nature Trail was developed which went through Astley Park woodland from the old children’s play area to Ackhurst Lodge. Plants were listed that were growing on the nature trail. Friends of Astley Park identified fifteen species that are no longer growing on this route.

There are two main reasons for this happening. There has been an increase in beech trees which only allow spring flowering wildflowers to flourish and large areas have been covered by Himalayan Balsam which has killed off the existing wildflowers. We are continuing with our Balsam Bashing to remove this plant from Astley Park.

We are working with Staff and pupils from Astley Park Special School to grow one hundred plants of each of the fifteen species of woodland wildflowers. Later this year we will be planting them in the woodland. Here is a list of the woodland wildflowers that are being grown at Astley Park School.

Alchemilla vulgaris (Lady’s mantle)
Anemone sylvestris (Snowdrop windflower)
Campanula trachelium (Nettle leaved bellflower)
Centaurea nigra (Knapweed)
Conopodium majus (Pignuts)
Filipendula ulmaria (Meadowsweet)
Galium molluge (Hedge bedstraw)
Geranium robertianum (Herb robert)
Geranium sylvaticum (Wood cranesbill)
Lychnis flos-cuculi (Ragged robin)
Lysimachia nemorum (Wood pimpernel)
Petasites hybridus (Butterbur)
Primula vulgaris (Primrose)
Ranunculus flammula (Lesser spearwort)
Viola riviniana (Dog violet)


Woodland Wildflower Project Update
On 3rd September the first 200 of the Woodland Wildflowers were planted in Great Wood in Astley Park by members of our group.

Astley Park School have had problems with vandals over the summer period so it was decided that another school should be asked to participate in our project. Buckshaw School was approached and they agreed to help us. Buckshaw have a Gardening Club which keen young gardeners can go along to on Friday afternoons. They are growing six species of plants from seed. About 20 trays of seeds have been sown by the pupils.

We hope to be planting some of these plants in Spring.