Plant-astic!

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Landscaping Jan 2011 (large version)

This season, so far around 35,000 native trees and shrubs have been planted, and 57,000 square metres of grassland have been seeded to transform the bare slopes and cuttings of the relief road.

Most recently, Hawthorn, Blackthorn and various wild rose species have been planted on the Lorton Lane green bridge, and Hazel, Oak, Ash, Wild Cherry and Willow species are being planted alongside the road in the Lorton area.

Read the press release.

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9 Responses to “Plant-astic!”

  1. Peter Harris Says:

    Wondering if my question below has slipped out of view or you do not have an answer? – The once beautifully wild fields of upper Lodmoor have been scrapped of all vegetation down to the ground leaving the area sterile with not a sign of deer and rabbits and precious few birds. What is to happen to these fields, please?
    Looking again I note that a part of the territory that I was in is on the Littlemoor side of the hedge.
    Your reponse would be much appreciated, please.

    • Weymouth Relief Road Says:

      Hi Peter,

      Our natural environment team are due to get back to us with an answer.

      We will chase them today for a response.

      • Peter Harris Says:

        Your lack of a response here is leading me to believe that there is no plan to foster the recovery of the ecology destroyed by the removal of all vegetation in these areas. I can’t believe that this devastation has happened without even a forward plan. Will we never see the glow worms, fire flies, deer, rabbits, birds, butterflies and moths etc back again? What happened to the proud boast of an all encompassing ecological plan?

    • Weymouth Relief Road Says:

      Hi Peter,

      Apologies for the delay in getting this information to you.

      The fields within the Lorton Valley between Lorton Meadows Nature Reserve and Horse Lynch Plantation are now being restored to pastures and meadows as part of the Weymouth Relief Road project.

      The construction of the carriageway resulted in a loss of a number of areas of grassland and we need to replace what was lost, in terms of ecological value and public accessibility. In fact, we are going beyond that in the Lorton Valley, and are creating a very much larger area for quiet recreation and improving considerably the wildlife value of the existing fields.

      Prior to the project, two of the field were arable, the farmer having grown maize crops there in the past few years. Back in the early 1990s these fields were probably the richest in terms of wildflowers in the borough, and the scattered scrub was especially good for breeding passage birds such as Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat and Blackcap, but virtually all of this diversity was lost when they were ploughed. We know what species were there, and we have begun the process of returning these arable fields to their former interest, using locally collected wildflower seed, and seed-rich hay cut from a nature conservation site close to Weymouth. The fields will require several years of quite intensive management before we can be sure we have re-established the former diversity.

      The other two fields had not been managed as grasslands for many years and scrub bramble and blackthorn had taken over. In order to restore these two fields to flower-rich grassland much of the scrub has to be cleared. The more westerly of these two fields now has a patchwork of scrub that we wish to maintain, and we intend to develop a similar mosaic in the neighbouring fields over time. The range of wildflowers that has returned in this westerly field is remarkable and this spring we expect there will again be a good showing of Grass Vetchling and Adder’s-tongue Fern, both of which are rare species in Dorset. The same cannot be said of the neighbouring field, which is growing a healthy crop of thistles and dock, and this field will require regular topping to keep these weeds under control, and maybe additional seeding to increase diversity.

      At the bottom of all the fields we have also dug a number of ponds, and a few of these are already showing a considerable range of wildlife even though they are just a year old.

      Inevitably there is displacement of existing wildlife that has taken up residence in the dense scrub that has grown in two of the fields. However, much of this wildlife is relatively widespread and has already moved to live and breed in similar scrub elsewhere. It is precisely because we want to bring back a much greater diversity of wildlife overall that the county council is undertaking this work, which has the backing of the Dorset Wildlife Trust, RSPB and Natural England.

  2. Luke Says:

    I took a walk through the Lorton valley at the weekend & was pleasently suprised at how many new trees have recently been planted.
    15 to 20 years ago myself & my friends used these fields as an area to enjoy ourselves in. Back then it was just a grassy field, & although the road has taken a fair slice out of this field it now has trees standing 12ft + high, nothing compared to the maturity of the trees in two mile coppice, but its a step in the right direction.
    I was strongly against the new road but now its almost open, i think the main contrators have delivered us a road that in years to come, with all the trees and shurbs growing well it will all blend in nicely.
    And, the wildlife is still there…. ive seen it!!

    Good job SKANSKA!!

  3. Mel Says:

    We was told the route from Littlemoor to the ridgeway was going to open in December and then 2 weeks of snow arrived. So 2 weeks snow has cost us 2 months waiting, I am so glad we don’t live in the north pole.

  4. Jim Says:

    Hi,
    has a date been set for when the road will be open. It must be soon.

  5. Peter Harris Says:

    The once beautifully wild fields of upper Lodmoor have been scrapped of all vegetation down to the ground leaving the area sterile with not a sign of deer and rabbits and precious few birds. What is to happen to these fields, please?

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