The Oaks Crematorium records its highest number of botanical species

The Oaks Crematorium in Havant has recorded its highest number of botanical species in its meadow since 2015.

There were 63 species recorded this year at The Oaks Crematorium with an overall total of 108 botanical species observed within the meadow between 2015 and 2019.

The site is part of the regional co-operative, Southern Co-op, and colleagues have been working with Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust to make a “positive difference to the local environment.”

Arcadian Ecology, a subsidiary of the wildlife trust, carried out this year’s annual biodiversity monitoring and showed a number of new species not previously recorded on the site, which include the European field pansy, field madder, grass vetchling, greater knapweed, lesser trefoil and wild clary.

The surveys, conducted between April and October, showed there had been a “vast improvement” over the last couple of years with the wildflower meadow and mound area.

Five small mammals, wood mice and bank vole, were also recorded during small mammal trapping, and two of the three bird boxes being used by birds and one being used by a wood mouse for the first time – quite a surprise as it is around three metres off the ground.

There was also an abundance of insects including 16 species of butterflies, eight species of bumblebees, five species of dragonflies and five species of Orthopterans such as grasshoppers and crickets.

Gemma Lacey, Southern Co-op’s director sustainability and communications, said: “We regularly talk to people about the importance of protecting our local wildlife and giving them an environment to thrive. 

“The environment is full of surprises and we will continue to work with the local wildlife trust to preserve it for a positive future.”

Sarah Jackson, senior ecologist at Arcadian Ecology, added: “It’s been fantastic to see how the site has evolved over the last few years, and the response of the wildlife to the habitat enhancements. Southern Co-op is doing a great job. Colleagues have followed our advice and now it is paying dividends.”

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