Least water-lily Nuphar pumila is known from over 100 sites in Scotland, but only from Cole Mere in England, although it formerly occurred in other meres in Shropshire.
Natural England commissioned this study of Nuphar pumila, under the Species Recovery Programme to gather information to improve its conservation status at Cole Mere SSSI, Shropshire and to develop and implement a Species Recovery Plan with the aim to maintain a self-sustaining population of N. pumila in England.
The work was commissioned in three parts:
- Commissioned report 243, to review the known ecology of Nuphar pumila and the population status at Cole Mere.
- Commissioned report 244 to develop a seed and rhizome propagation protocol.
- This report to assess the level of genetic variation present in English N. pumila; test whether English and Scottish N. pumila populations are genetically distinct from each other; and confirm the hybrid nature of samples identified as N. ×spenneriana.
Natural England and others will use the findings to develop a plan to conserve England’s only population of least water-lily, and in particular to manage the trees and the margins around Cole Mere.