- Visit in early summer to see an amazing display of purple meadow thistles
- From June an abundance of orchids will begin to flower, including common spotted and southern marsh
- Crouch down on your hands and needs to search for some of the reserves rarest plants
A not so common Common
This wet grassland is one of the most important places for flower rich grasslands in Staffordshire. At less than 7 acres in size, Allimore Green may be relatively small but what it lacks in size it makes up for in diversity. Amongst the more common species to look out for are the bright yellow flowers of marsh marigolds in spring and the delicate cream flowers of meadowsweet and yellow heads of fleabane in summer. Orchids are abundant with several different species to be found. If you're a really keen plant twitcher then look out for southern marsh and common spotted orchids. But be warned - these two orchids hybridise readily and produce a confusing array of plants!
As a Parish Common, the site has had a chequered history of management. Local parishioners would have, at one time in the past, grazed their livestock and taken hay for winter fodder. Common rights also allowed people to take wood by coppicing the alder woodland along the fringes of the site. This is a practice which we continue today - although now the work is carried out by teams of volunteers.
Keeping it special
The reserve's importance is recognised in its designation as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). With the help of a local farmer and his hardy Highland cattle, we are able to continue traditional grazing management. Grazing is essential if we are to ensure the reserve retains its interest in the future. The effect of the cattle is to reduce the dominance of grasses and other vigorous growing plants and allow the wildflowers to successfully compete. Although we may lose some of the flowering heads to the nibbling gnashers of our cattle there are still more than enough flowers remaining to provide a nectar source for inverterbates and to set seed, ensuring more plants in the future.
A Living Landscape
'Living Landscapes' is The Wildlife Trusts innovative approach to nature conservation and involves focusing our efforts on improving the wider landscape to make it better for wildlife. Find out more here
This nature reserve is leased from Haughton Parish Council