Nottingham crocuses surveyed on campus

Nottingham spring crocus on University Park campus

This spring nearly 9,000 flowering bulbs of Nottingham spring crocus (Crocus vernus) – a locally rare species – have been recorded on campus as part of a project to monitor and map the plant’s distribution locally.

With similar colour combinations, the difference between Nottingham spring crocus and cultivated Crocus species can be hard to spot with the naked eye, although Nottingham spring crocus has a ruffled edge to its petals.

A count was conducted over two days and led by expert Mark Woods, County Recorder for the Botanical Society of the British Isles, working alongside the University’s Grounds Manager Desmond O’Grady, Student Volunteer Centre’s Alice Hallows and six students keen to gain practical ecological experience. Between them, the group identified three colonies of 8,700 flowering spikes on the western edge of University Park - near Lenton Lodge and Florence Boot Close.

Counting Nottingham spring crocus on University Park

Nottingham spring crocus used to be abundant in meadows alongside the River Trent, particularly in Wilford and Dunkirk, but is now rare and the subject of a species action plan by Nottinghamshire Biodiversity Action Group. On University Park the colonies are signed with an interpretation board to allow visitors to appreciate their local significance, but the surrounding vegetation is managed to reduce competition from woody plants.

Any further sightings of the Nottingham spring crocus (or its close relation, the Nottingham autumn crocus) can be reported to Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust.

Sustainability Team

Estate Office, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD