MLA Ecology Site Visit

MLA 1 visited Chorlton Ees & Ivy Green nature reserve in Manchester with James Richardson, Associate Lecturer and Principal Ecologist & Landscape Architect at Wardell Armstrong.

Chorlton Ees & Ivy Green is a nature reserve that stands on the periphery of Manchester, within the M60. It covers over 58 hectares of mainly woodland and grassland, with a wetland area adjacent to the River Mersey boundary. Chorlton Ees is designated as Site of Biological Importance Grade B with its mix of woodland and wildflower meadows. The land is owned by Manchester City Council, and supported by an active Friends group, the Friends of Chorlton Meadows.

The site visit incorporated a walk through the various habitats, where trees and plants identified or discussed, including:

  • Hedera helix, Common ivy

  • Salix caprea, Goat willow

  • Acer pseudoplatanus, Sycamore

  • Fraxinus excelsior, Ash, which may be affected by emerald borer (Agrilus planipennis) in the UK in the future, but is currently affected Ash die back (with the scientific name of Hymenoscyphus fraxineus during its sexual stage and Chalara fraxinea during its asexual stage)

  • Alnus incana, Grey Alder

  • Alnus glutinosa, Common Alder

  • Betula pendula, Silver Birch

  • Cotoneaster sp., Cotoneaster

  • Tilia cordata, Small-leaved Lime

  • Sambucus nigra, Elder

  • Symphyotrichum novi-belgii, Michaelmas daisy, invasive species

  • Fallopia japonica, Japanese Knotweed, which is a Schedule 9 species (meaning it is illegal to plant or otherwise cause to grow in the wild) along with another common invasive plant found adjacent to watercourses, Impatiens glandulifera, Himalayan Balsam

  • Heracleum sphondylium, Hogweed

  • Chamaenerion angustifolium, Rosebay Willowherb or Fireweed

  • Phragmites australis, Common Reed

The following birds were also identified on site, or discussed as being native to these habitats:

  • Psittacula krameri, Ring-necked Parakeet (naturalised tropical parrot, escaped pets)

  • Cyanistes caeruleus, Blue tit

  • Aegithalos caudatus, Long tailed tit

  • Poecile montanus, Willow tit

  • Regulus regulus, Goldcrest

  • Gallinago gallinago, Snipe

  • Acrocephalus schoenobaenus, Sedge warbler (summer migrant)

  • Rallus aquaticus, Water rail

  • Anas crecca, Teal

If you are interested in ecology and would like volunteer at the nature reserve, the Friends of Chorlton Meadows hold regular volunteering opportunities on their Facebook page:


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