SJ7965 : Opium Poppy

taken 7 years ago, near to Brereton Heath, Cheshire, Great Britain

Opium Poppy
Opium Poppy
This very distinctive plant, the Opium Poppy (Papaver somniferum), was seen growing on the edge of the car-park on Brereton Heath Country Park. The edible seeds of this poppy are often used in baking cakes and making bread. Opium derived from the plant's capsule can be refined to manufacture heroin and is used in about thirty different alkaloids which include Codeine and Morphine, although a large crop is needed to achieve this. This particular plant probably originated from a seed dropped by a bird. For a close-up of the flower see SJ7965 : Flower of the Opium Poppy.
Brereton Heath Country Park
Once part of the Brereton Hall Estate, this area was planted with Scots Pine trees in the 19th century- which were then felled during the First World War to provide pit-props for the mining industry. Some of these remain and there have been some new ones planted as a reminder of the past. After this the area began to be taken over by Silver Birch and a gamekeeper was employed by the estate to rear game birds for sport.
In 1959 silica sand was discovered and a quarry was opened, at one point extracting up to 500 tonnes per day for use in the production of glass and making casting moulds for the metal industry. The quarry was abandoned in 1972 after the sand ran out, filling with water and making the present lake, and the site was then purchased in 1982 by Congleton Borough Council for the creation of a country park.
2004 saw the country park being designated as a Local Nature Reserve, and is now managed for the benefit of both wildlife and members of the public.
In 2009 Congleton Borough Council merged with Cheshire East County Council who now, along with a group of volunteers, manage the site. Also in 2009 Brereton Heath was awarded a Green Flag Award, which was earned again in 2010.
There is a varied landscape on the site, with a lake, woodland, meadowland and rare lowland heath. This variety in the landscape also produces a wonderfully varied flora and fauna. There is also a very good visitor centre with toilets, and excellent disabled access including the ‘Brimstone Trail’ going through the woods and circling the lake. This trail is completely ‘wheelchair and buggy friendly’.
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SJ7965, 158 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
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Date Taken
Wednesday, 16 June, 2010   (more nearby)
Submitted
Thursday, 17 June, 2010
Category
Wild flowers   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 795 653 [100m precision]
WGS84: 53:11.0801N 2:18.4396W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 795 653
View Direction
EAST (about 90 degrees)
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