Evidence of Decline
Prompted by the development of Cow Green Reservoir and the threat it presented to the Special Flora, surveying of plants on Widdybank Fell took place between 1968 and 1975.
Teesdale Special Flora Trust has recently re-surveyed parts of Widdybank Fell where rare species were mapped in detail in the 1970s. The declines in the numbers of plant species over the past 50 years is shocking.
Table 1 below shows that 18 of the 19 species surveyed have declined in population extent. The average decline was 54%, meaning they are now present in fewer than half of the areas they occurred in 45 or so years ago.