National Transport and Wildlife Corridors-Roadside Wildflora-Using Native Irish Wildflowers

Wildflowers for Irish Roadsides:

Re-establishment of the Esker Ridges  Co. Offaly, Sown 1997. 

This project has been so successful that it was repeated on a 'non roadside' esker ridge in Banagher,  Co Offaly for the NPWS between 2008-2010. 

Click links for update:

Update to Tullamore / Clara Esker

Update to Banageher NPWS Esker, Coming soon 2012

Design By Nature's most important conversation project to date.
Offaly Co. Council carried out the first ever recreation of an esker flora in Ireland.


Wildflowers germinate after 4 months, but its only 18 months later when they can be seen DBN were contacted to recreate Offaly's flora, as in future new roads are to be built through the Eskers Ridges. Eskers are rare glacial features in the landscape which stretch across Ireland.  The foreground shows the areas without topsoil, the background shows a scattering of peat, you can see the difference to the resulting vegatation.
Native Trefoil struggles to survive in the low fertility sandy soil During the 1990s, Design By Nature worked with Mr. Jack Keyes of Offaly County Council. 
The County Council's aim was to grow for the first time ever, Native Wild Esker Flora on bare Eskers denuded of any vegetation. To landscape and maintain native flora on such site take years and is not like sowing wildflower seed on normal bare soil where the fertility assists the growth of all species
The germination rate of the locally picked wildflower seeds is high The base soil is so poor, lacking any nutrients, that it took 7 years for the flora to grow and flower, we watched it get bigger every year, saw the rabbits eat it and once enough soil fertility built up the wildflowers bloomed. No top soil was to be used over half the site, as we knew this would assist the establishment of long term meadow and allow comparisons..
Greater Knapweed emerges amoungst Marestail which arrived in some un-specified peaty soil This photograph is taken in year two, shows Marestail germinating from the peaty soil, we had enough knowledge to know that such a terrible weed colonised sand and gravel pits which were cut fro Eskers, so we were not concerned as we knew the some of the species we choose would compete in this soil. In 2004 the now rare Greater Knapweed is flourishing.
Design by Nature were also asked to prepare a Management plan and to sow trial plots. To date we have collected the entire flora of the Local Esker Ridge in Co. Offaly. 

We then grew the seed at our Nurseries and re-established the seed back on the Eskers.

Eskers are ideal for wildflowers To see further text only information from Design By Natures file regarding Esker Management Plan for Co. Offaly, please click here
Most of these bare Eskers are clearly visible where a new road has cut through them, many also are hidden from the public in farms, gravel pits, and under native ash and hazel woodland. 


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