Oblong-leaved sundew (Drosera intermedia), Great sundew (Drosera anglica)
Oblong-leaved sundew (Drosera intermedia) and great sundew (Drosera anglica) are insectivorous plants found on mires and bogs. They have evolved to derive the majority of their nutrient requirement from captured insects to compensate for a nutrient-poor habitat.
Both oblong leaved and great sundew are found around the globe at higher northern latitudes. Although precise information is not available to quantify the overall population decline, both have suffered extinctions in parts of their European range, are highly threatened in several countries, and have small and fragmented distributions in western Europe. There have been five oblong leaved sundew records in the BOOM project area since 2000 and four great sundew records (BSBI, 2019). Of these nine records, five have come from Nor Moss, in the Claife Tarns and Mires SSSI. Oblong leaved sundew has been recorded at Nichols Moss as recently as 2010. However, it is known that populations of both species are declining regionally and nationally.
Reasons for Decline
In common with many species dependent on peat bogs, these species will have suffered from drainage, peat extraction, eutrophication and burning and grazing of peatlands, especially valley mires and raised bog. Drosera anglica is very sensitive to changes in water level as it inhabits a micro-niche of bare, very wet peat on the edge of open water in bogs and mires.
In recent decades, extensive restoration work has improved the condition of many of our peatlands so that they may now be able once again to sustain their previous rich and unique floral assemblages. However, many of these species are poor colonisers and only exist in remote and fragmented pockets.
BOOM will look to survey, collect, propagate and translocate Drosera intermedia and anglica to restored peatlands in South Cumbria. BOOM will work with local community and conservation groups as well as students and other individuals to set up a sustainable propagation regime. This regime will be informed through engagement with the North West Rare Plants Initiative who have been successfully propagating Drosera for translocation to restored Lancashire peatlands in recent years.
Volunteers will be engaged in population monitoring at donor and recipient sites and local growers and landowners will be offered specific training in sundew cultivation methods and habitat requirements to help sustain viable populations beyond the term of the BOOM project