WWS PAGE 5

Cherry Orchard, Diglis

(Hypochaeris radicata), autumn hawkbit (Leontodon autumnalis), black medick (Medicago lupulina), creeping cinquefoil (Potentilla reptans), hop trefoil and red clover. This shows affinities with the MG6: Lolium perenne-Cynosurus cristatus grassland.

Common hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) is the most frequent shrub on the site, with osiers (Salix viminalis) frequent towards the west of the site. Trees are largely restricted to the edges of the site -the banks of the River Severn and Duck Brook and planted around the boundaries of the recreation ground.

Cultivated varieties of species such as poppies and foxgloves are found, particularly towards the east of the old municipal tip, where they have spread from gardens in the adjacent housing estate. There is also a disused tarmac car-park along this eastern boundary.

Sandy area

In the west of the site is a sandy area formed from dredgings from the river, much of which forms a large mound. On the southern half of this mound (area C) osiers (Salix viminalis) are abundant over bare sand, ragwort and Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) with fine-leaved grasses such as rat’s-tail fescue. The northern half is of open vegetation (area D) — creeping thistle and ragwort, with small patches of rat’s-tail fescue. Along the western bank are trees and shrubs, largely sycamore (Acer pseudoplaranus) and osiers; below this, and also directly south and north of the  sandy bank above the Severn is tall ruderal vegetation dominated by nettle, Himalayan balsam and Russian comfrey.

To the north-east of the mound is a lower-lying level area (area E). This area comprises a very short, parched turf with much bare ground. Although herb-poor, a number of species are present, but usually at only low levels — more frequent species include dove’s-foot crane’s-bill (Geranium molle), perforate St. John’s-wort, hop trefoil, common stork’s-bill (Erodium cicutarium), sheep
sorrel (Rumex acetosella) and autumn hawkbit. Rat’s-tail fescue is abundant. There are also patches of large-flowered evening-primrose (Oenothera glazioviana), musk mallow (Malva moschata) and musk thistle (Carduus nutans).

River Severn

The steep banks of the River Severn are lined with mature trees, mainly crack willow (Salix fragilis) and sycamore, but with occasional alder (Alnus glutinosa) and pedunculate oak (Quercus robur). Beneath these are nettles and Himalayan balsam. Marginal vegetation occurs along the edges of the river, but the extent and nature of this was not possible to determine from the banks due to the dense vegetation and the steep gradient.

Duck Brook

The Duck Brook forms the southern and south-east boundaries of the site, meeting the River Severn in the south-west corner. The banks of the brook are lined with trees and shrubs – crack willow, sycamore, ash (Fraxinus excelsior), common hawthorn and some patches of plum trees (Prunus domestica). Beneath the trees are nettles, Himalayan balsam and common cleavers (Galium   aparineAlong the south-east boundary, this develops a denser woodland canopy and woodland herbs such as wood avens (Geum urbanum), ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea) and ivy (Hedera helix) are found, a habitat similar to that on the south bank of the brook.

A little west of the brook there is evidence of a seasonal pond within a dense nettle bed.

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