'You never know' - Rare plants discovered on Norfolk canal bank

Wildlife officers on the North Walsham and Dilham Canal have discovered a number of rare plant species.

Wildlife officers on the North Walsham and Dilham Canal have discovered a number of rare plant species. - Credit: North Walsham and Dilham Canal Trust

Wildlife officers were surprised to discover a number of rare plants while patrolling a north Norfolk canal bank.

The plants found on the North Walsham and Dilham Canal include Sea Milkwort, Red Maids, White Melilot, Balkan Spurge and Bifid Hemp-nettle, and experts said the rare species are thriving in the North Walsham area.

Officers suspect diverse soil substrates on the bank are the reason for the large numbers of rare species.

Wildlife officers on the North Walsham and Dilham Canal have discovered a number of rare plant species.

Wildlife officers on the North Walsham and Dilham Canal have discovered a number of rare plant species. - Credit: North Walsham and Dilham Canal Trust

Suki Pryce, a wildlife officer for North Walsham and Dilham Canal Trust has found over 400 rare plants across the four mile stretch of canal the trust has been working to restore since 2017.

She said: "You never know what you’re going to find, every walk along the canal is like a treasure hunt.


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"It’s been very intriguing to discover species that are more common to urban areas or species usually found in sand dunes along the coast.

"Some unusual species survive year after year and really thrive along the canal. Others arrive and then disappear, only to return again a couple of years later, it's hard to fathom."

Wildlife officers on the North Walsham and Dilham Canal have discovered a number of rare plant species.

Wildlife officers on the North Walsham and Dilham Canal have discovered a number of rare plant species. - Credit: North Walsham and Dilham Canal Trust


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