Plant partnership is a conservation success

The National Botanic Garden of Wales is creating a visitor display using material and rare plants from Criggion quarry.

A flourishing partnership has developed between the quarry on the Breidden Hills near Shrewsbury – part of which is designated a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) – and the
botanic institution 95 miles away in Llanarthne, Carmarthenshire.

Ten tonnes of rock and soil was transported free of charge from Criggion to the national garden to be used with rare plants already cultivated there, also from the quarry. 

“The idea was to replicate an SSSI ‘garden’ using material and flora from Criggion,” said quarry manager Steve Andrews.

“We are doing a lot of work with the botanic garden – it already grows, in bulk, rare plants from our SSSI. These plants are collected annually and sent to the botanic garden. When they decided to construct a replica habitat as a permanent display, we donated a lorry load of the exact soil and rock composition from Criggion.

“John Ingham and Julie Williams from our conservation team in Wetherby work alongside us on the SSSI projects with a contractor and the government environmental body Natural Resources Wales.”

Veronica spicata and silene viscaria were among 30 rare plants cultivated off-site and transplanted at Criggion as part of ongoing SSSI work.