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discriptive brochure on hamilton grammars botany

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discriptive brochure on hamilton grammars botany

  1. 1. Our botanical website includes a description of each species and a digital photograph of The School grounds as a botanical site each species taken within our grounds. We intend to add a distribution chart for each species, which will serve as a datum for future comparisons. Background The School is situated on land originally comprising the grounds of Auchincampbell House. Common Spotted Orchids Much of the woodland was introduced, and much of the ground cultivated, while (Dactylorhiza fuchsii) Auchincampbell House was occupied. After the construction of the School, the main meadow did for a time have buildings on it. The Main Meadow is the The demolition of these buildings, and the resulting spoil and poor drainage, has created a perfect habitat for orchids, unique meadow habitat. The woodland sections and the meadow at the far (western) end which can be seen in vast of the site have remained undisturbed for decades. numbers in May and June There are some uncommon Red Horse Chestnut plants on the site, including (Aesculus x carnea) several different species of orchid. The peculiar sub-structure of the Main Meadow has made it an ideal home to orchids and in the height of the season in May and June the sheer An uncommon tree, number and exuberance of our orchids is spectacular. introduced by the laird of Auchin-campbell The Future House The richness of the School grounds as an educational resource has only come to be realised and appreciated fairly recently. For this reason alone, there has been little input into the planning process and planning for the development of the School buildings has therefore not taken into account the need to minimise any negative impact on the botanical environment. The purpose of the ongoing study of the flora of the School grounds is to monitor and observe rather than to control. However, given the unusual biodiversity we have The Site discovered, there now needs to be a concerted, inter-agency effort to co-ordinate and co- The site is defined as being all the ground bounded by : operate in managing change. - to the east : Auchincampbell Road A key element in this process is raising awareness of the nature of the School grounds as a - to the south and west : the railway botanical site, and to encourage all agencies to take this into account when planning, or - to the north : Cadzow Burn (and Union Street for a very short distance, entering the grounds for any purpose. from the bridge over the burn to the junction of Auchincampbell Road) Habitats © Hamilton Grammar School Environmental Group, September 2005 Hamilton Grammar School Within these grounds there are several well-defined habitats, giving an unusually diverse botanical environment. There are lawns and car-parks, old stone walls, grassland,
  2. 2. hedgerows, shady borders, damp meadows, relics of formal gardens and kitchen gardens, It is his considered view that the flora of our site, while not being uniquely diverse, is open mixed woodland and a stream. uncommonly rich for an urban site and, for an area of its size, one of the most diverse in The most important of these is the ‘Main Meadow’, i.e. the open grassland area which lies Hamilton. As such, he feels, it is worthy of an appropriate level of protection. between the railway access road and the woodland belt. The local Natural History Society has visited the site and helped with plant identification. Guided walks for pupils and staff have been organised. A hybrid Orchid (Dactylorhiza Leopardsbane fuchsii x (Doronicum purpurella) pardalianches) One of the main treasures of our Main Evidence of the formal Meadow gardens which once existed here On three occasions, members of our staff have been invited by Scottish Natural Heritage to Biodiversity speak at conferences about the biodiversity of our grounds. The management of our grounds as an educational environmental resource is regarded as an example of good Since 2001, pupils and staff have been working to identify the flora of the whole site. practice. Some pupils have become very knowledgeable and appreciative of the huge range of plants which grow spontaneously in the grounds. To date, 193 plant species have been recorded and the number continues to rise as we Recording explore in greater detail and in all seasons. The recording and monitoring of our flora is ongoing. Our definitive record is now An Environmental Group was formed in 2002, involving pupils and staff in managing and maintained online. It can be found at : developing various aspects of the rich resource we have in our grounds. This in turn led to www.geocities.com/hamiltonbiology/botany/main.htm the forming of an Eco-Schools Group and to the awarding of the Eco-Schools Green Flag to the School in 2004. The 193 species recorded to date include : 19 trees, 142 flowering plants, 18 grasses, 4 sedges, 5 rushes and 5 ferns. Flowerbeds were constructed in 2003 in co-operation with Greenspace and their use is now firmly embedded within the curriculum. Partnership Dr. P. McPherson, the BSBI Recorder for Lanarkshire, has visited the site twice to carry out surveys (in June 2002 and July 2005).

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