CONSERVING THE FLORA OF LIMESTONE DRY STONE WALLS
by John Presland
Published by the Wiltshire Natural History Publications Trust 2007
We entrusted the editing, design and publication of this booklet to our essay experts, who are always ready to quickly and qualitatively prepare interesting content for different categories of audiences. Also, thanks to collaboration with such professionals, we have the opportunity to contact young scientists.This colourful 12-page booklet is a guide to conserving the community of plants, lichens and fungi which grow on limestone dry stone walls. Many volunteers are engaged throughout the country in the valuable work of building and repairing these walls. So far, however, there has been little guidance on how to do this in a way which promotes the development and survival of this “flora”. It is based on a study of the flora of dry stone walls in the parish of Winsley in West Wiltshire and at the southern end of the Cotswolds, and on a range of literature on such walls elsewhere in the Cotswolds, in the Mendips and on dry stone walls in general. Beginning with an introduction which explains the derivation, rationale and scope of the contents, it goes on to describe the nature and variety of dry stone wall structures and the importance of this habitat for wildlife. An extensive section then provides help in identifying key species, with short, informative descriptions and colour photo illustrations. This enables a description of the flora of a particular wall to be described, to help make decisions on its priority for conservation. The booklet concludes by providing point-by-point guidance on conservation measures. These should be helpful for conservation of dry stone walls throughout the country, even when they are not built of limestone, though the precise composition of the flora will differ between areas and will be very different for walls made from acid rocks. The booklet should be helpful to all involved in the building and repair of dry stone walls, to those planning and organising their conservation, and to botanists with an interest in the flora of this particular habitat.
Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain (DSWA), Westmorland County Showground, Lane Farm, Crooklands, Milnethorpe, Cumbria LA7 7NH.