COLUMN: Wild flowers thrive in Buxton’s country park

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Wild flowers have been in the news recently as concern grows that our wild flower meadows are disappearing because of, among other things, changes in farming methods.

Recently the destruction has been accelerated ahead of fears among the farming community that changes to the law would give the meadows special protection and restrict the other uses that they could be put to.

Your readers may be surprised to learn that in Buxton we have almost seven acres of wildflower glades thriving on the old lime spoil heaps that once used to scar the outskirts of the town.

In addition to managing and looking after 160 acres of woods in and around Buxton, the Buxton Civic Association has been instrumental in creating these wild flower glades in Grin Woods in the Country Park.

The woods achieved SSSI status in part because of the work that was done to create and maintain the glades and the flowers and plants that thrive on these old spoil tips.

This is a highly labour intensive time of year as the glades need to be cut annually during the autumn using power brush cutters and the cuttings raked and removed from the glade.

This is important to prevent the thin soil layer from becoming too enriched and therefore able to support invasive species

The Buxton Civic Association woodland volunteer group is invaluable in assisting with the restoration of the woodland glades and help with a variety of conservation projects in the woods that the association owns.

The woodland volunteers meet on the last Monday of the month at Poole’s Cavern visitor centre at 9.30am.

If anyone is interesting in being involved, please phone the association on 01298 26978 or email

Buxton Civic Association has recently published an excellent guide written by civic association members June and Lyn Noble which identifies the wild flowers that can be seen in our glades and other local meadowlands.

The guide can be purchased from the visitor centre at Poole’s Cavern for £3.

All proceeds from the sale of the guides goes towards the maintenance and management of the woodlands in our care.