Rare species re-introduced to Delamere Forest

Delamere c. Richard Gabb

A rare plant has recently been re-introduced into our Black Lake Nature Reserve at Delamere Forest after the species only remained at one remnant bog pool at Abbots Moss SSSI.

Lesser Bladderwort (Utricularia minor) is very rare in Cheshire, very sensitive to habitat change and has been lost from many of the peat basins across Cheshire. Black Lake is haven for dragonflies and damselflies, from the impressive hawkers, to delicate darters and the chaser dragonflies.

The plant is a true specialist when it comes to living in harsh environments such as the acidic peat basins where it is usually found. These sites are low in nutrient and to live the plants must adapt. When insects such as zooplankton touch the tiny hairs of the stems they snap shut trapping their prey. These traps close in 0.002 seconds making them one of the fastest living organisms on earth.

Josh Styles from the North West Rare Plant Initiative (NWRPI) who re-introduced the plant on site said: “The one overarching aim of the NWRPI is to secure the prospects of a total of 43 target vascular plant species, declining rapidly/on the brink of extinction in North West England."

"Plants are the fundamental basis of all life on Earth, with few exceptions. They are such fascinating and valuable organisms; they form habitats and we rely on them for so much; for our food, medicine, building materials and more! The intricate adaptations Lesser Bladderwort, whilst intriguing, have come about over millions of years of evolution.”

Over the past century, over 75% of the populations of the Lesser Bladderwort plant in the North-West and over 90% of the populations in Cheshire have been wiped out through habitat loss.
The NWRPI is reintroducing the species to suitable sites in the region in the hope that it’s future can be secured. Without reintroduction in Cheshire, its last, small population in Delamere will likely go extinct in the next century.

lesser bladderwort

Joshua Styles

Lesser Bladderwort (Utricularia minor)