Posted by: lensweb | June 25, 2015

Hooray for Brian, Stanton North Lagoon

Hooray for Brian, Stanton North Lagoon

Mon June 22, Looking for Yellow Bird’s Nest and other Rarities, a wild flower walk on good paths.

Meet 7pm at Straw’s Bridge car park on A609, Ilkeston – West Hallam road.

Grid ref  SK 453 413       Postcode DE7 5FG

Move to Stanton North Lagoon on Merlin Way SK 474 392

Leader   Brian Gough

stanton meme

Having accepted by now that summer will not arrive this year, we met Brian under a black cloud at Straws Bridge. He said he was cursed, every walk he has led this year has been rained off but tonight more bad news, the epi-parasitic yellow bird’s nest  had  not even appeared at it’s usual site, unfazed, he suggested a change of venue.

In convoy we drove  through Quarry Hill Industrial Estate, down Merlin way, to the hawthorn screened nature reserve at Stanton Lagoon. Brian’s luck had changed, the sun cowed the retreating black clouds and the evening set fair. Stanton North Lagoon is one of Erewash Borough Council’s informal open spaces.  It does not have Local Nature Reserve status, there is no leaflet for the site.  The site was formed in 1994, the Groundwork Trust planted the hedge,it contains 2 balancing ponds which hold water when the Nutbrook floods. It is close to Merlin House, which houses Erewash Borough Council’s Operational Services.

We squeezed through the central hedge portal and a floral delight entranced from that moment. The yellow umbels of wild parsnip with perforate St John’s Wort and pink centaury covered the raised bank of the footpath together with a delicate sprinkling of bee orchids. We counted over  100 pale green spikes with clinging bee forms in three main patches of more disturbed soil. Red and white campion grew with teasel and nettle in developing areas of bramble, hawthorn and blackthorn scrub. Should we bring back the motorbikes we debated? They do such a great job of conservation churning up the earth for floral reseeding, but riding without heed for others, presenting real danger. Their exclusion has resulted in scrub intrusion, brue meme yeslackthorn blocking off  the external circuit of the reserve.Purple and pale pink spikes of common spotted and southern marsh orchids plus every hybrid phenotype between the two pushed through leafy allsorts  in the central marsh which was choked with reedmace. Braving wet feet we pushed past pink patches of reed canary grass and red drifts of ragged robin, square stemmed St. John’s Wort and the leaves of Greater bird’sfoot trefoil Lotus pedunculatus. To Brian’s obvious delight Christine discovered meadow rue Thalictrum flavum, a rare find in Derbyshire.  Topped with spheres of cream coloured fuzz, it lurked under a bush of goat willow, which is competing with crack willow to take over the site.

Encouraged by our enthusiasm Brian walked off piste, entering the Stanton Ironworks site where wide floral pathways curved between alder and aspen. Yellow drifts of bird’sfoot trefoil Lotus corniculatus, blue fleabane, and yellow wort, specials amongst the amazing variety of flowers on the site. Hooray for Brian! We knew this was a special flowery treat to be savoured, a frustration of delight sandwiched in time between  the inexorable succession of nature and proposed housing development for the old industrial site.

Marion Bryce 23 June 2015


  1. Yes it was an excellent visit. Many thanks to Brian and Marion and others involved. A lovely article as well.


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