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Llanymynech Heritage Area – Flora

Introduction

The Heritage Area is based around an abandoned industrial site, comprising two draw kilns, a Hoffmann Kiln and Chimney a stable block, a dismantled tram/railway system, a defunct canal, some derelict buildings, tracks and other structures associated with these features.

There is evidence of industrial waste disposal, including furnace slag and building materials.  An area of ancient woodland grades into scrub, tall herb and grassland managed as pasture.

To the south, the site is bordered by the Montgomery canal.  The area receives a reletively high degree of public use, from visitors with an interest in the industrial archaeology as well as visitors and locals for dog walking or just recreation.

Heritage Area Map Cropped

Map of the Llanymynech Limeworks Area

There are many well established paths and tracks throughout the site, with the whole area being managed by a group of voluteers called the LLIMEYS (Llanymynech Limeworks Initiative – Members, Enthusiasts and Youth – Society).

Unlike the nature reserve located in the hillside quarry, the area does not carry any statutory nature conservation designations.  However, the site is designated as a Scheduled Monument and the two draw kilns, Hoffmann kiln and chimney are all Grade II listed buildings.

In the past there have been various plans put forward to develop the site, including devloping the lower field as a housing estate and even a cable car to the top of the hill.  These and various other plans were quickly quashed with local support and careful development to improve access to the Heritage Area and hill were agreed.  Shropshire council are working towards the Heritage Area being designated as a Local Nature Reserve (LNR).

Between 2006 and 2011 a considerable amount of works were carried out to preserve the area for future generations, which was all financed by external grants of over £900,000.

 

Botanical Surveys

In recent times there have been various surveys of the area, Doris Pugh recorded surveys of the hillside circa 1987 and Mr Webster (a local resident) carried out surveys of the Heritage Area prior to 1990.  In 1995 a company called Wildscan were contracted by Shropshire council to carry out a botanical survey of the Heritage Area with a view to producing a management brief.

Since then one of the LLIMEYS volunteers has formed a small group to continue surveying and monitoring the local flora.  A database has been built, which is based on the previous surveys, and this now forms the basis for monitoring for the group.  A snapshot of a page in the database can be seen to the right.  Currently there are 257 species recorded, though some are rarely seen and others have not been found in the Heritage area for some years.

Flower database screenshot

Botanical Database – Snapshot

Area Management

Management of the Heritage Area is limited to clearing some areas of the more prolific plants to allow others to grow and thrive.  Limited copicing is carried out in the wooded areas to permit plants such as the bluebells, wood anemone and primrose to blossom and bring some colour to the area.  The trees need constant management to ensure that any diseased and dead trees and branches are safely removed.  Some trees also need removing for safety reasons, such as those that dangerously overhang the A483.  The council recently (March 2020) had to remove a large Ash tree which had dead branches overhanging the road and was also interfering with the telephone lines.

Flora of the Llanymynech Heritage Area

Listed in the .pdf document are the flora found now and in the past within the Heritage Area