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You are here: Home Page > Council and Democracy > Council News > Archived News > August 2011 > Rare Anglian flower found

Rare Anglian flower found in Bedford Borough

Bedford Borough Council and Amey have discovered a rare Anglian flower at a roadside nature reserve near Bedford.

The crested cow-wheat, or full Latin name Melampyrum Cristatum, has been found at Bromham Bypass, near Bedford. The crested cow-wheat is only found in a small area of East Anglia and almost nowhere else in the UK, so officers were delighted to find the plant flowering in Bedford Borough.

With its unique shape and elaborate coloured, toothed, curved leaf which hides the bud, the crested cow-wheat is easily recognisable. The plant prefers a natural habitat of hedge banks and wildlife sites. It thrives in an environment, such as a roadside nature reserve, where it can grow with little interference.

Councillor Charles Royden, Portfolio Holder for the Environment and Transport, said: “We were delighted to hear that the crested cow-wheat was found in one of our roadside nature reserves in Bedford. We take our role to maintain and nurture the local environment very seriously. Our approach to the management of roadside nature reserves is clearly proving successful if rare plant species are now being found at roadside nature reserves.”

Amey manage and maintain Bromham Bypass on behalf of Bedford Borough Council, as well as other roadside nature reserves across the county.  

Roadside nature reserves are a natural environment for local flowers and wildlife, without the use of pesticides or fertilisers.  This allows a more varied and natural plant community to grow across the county. Roadside nature reserves are designated by Bedford Borough Council as protected sites, and as such Amey manage these accordingly.

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