Wednesday 7 November 2012

Small Cow-Wheat in Glen Tilt

Last week the ranger service and the rare plants officer for the Cairngorms National Park went out to protect some trees from the grazing teeth of sheep and deer. If the trees can grow, they should help the very rare small cow-wheat to spread a little bit wider in this area. The small cow-wheat seems to grow best under the shade of broadleaf trees, so we put tubes around some small hazel and birch trees - these trees are small in size but are actually older than you think, they just cannot grow taller because they get continually chewed down. The tubes should protect the trees until they are big enough to be out of danger.

Small cow-wheat is only found in 18 sites in Britain, and only in 2 sites within the National Park. It is closely related to common cow-wheat, which looks similar and is widespread.

small cow-wheat

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