Friday, 13 July 2012 13:03
The Canal & River Trust (CART) have engaged the experts at Chester Zoo to help it introduce the rare aquatic plant floating water plantain into the canals.
It is to be cultivated in a disused stretch of the Rochdale Canal that was by-passed when it was restored, with a view to introducing it to the waterways, Alan Tilbury reveals.
The plant is considered an important habitat for many of the country's insect species but has been in severe decline as a result of exposure to sewage and agriculture.
Curator of Horticulture and Botany Mark Sparrow explained:
"We've been working in partnership with the Canal & River Trust to raise awareness of rare water-based plants and the importance of canal habitats in general.
"We've been growing plants in behind-the-scenes ponds at the zoo for a number of years and are now providing them to site owners for reintroduction."
However, when the species was introduced into the restored Rochdale Canal, it needed protecting with coir rolls and spikes down the waterway, that eventually collapsed, resulting in the floating water plantain perishing.