Neston Shopfront Refurbishment Turns Over New Leaf
|Published: 1st April 2018 07:17|
Recent development and refurbishment work on the site of what was formerly 'Shand' has ground to a halt due to the discovery of a previously believed extinct species of plant.
The shop's prominent position at The Cross in Neston made its gradual deterioration over a number of years only too visible. Residents and businesses recently welcomed signs that work was finally underway to bring the frontage up to a better standard, ahead of its conversion into a wine bar.
The Shand shopfront before work began.
However, the discovery of the only known extant example of Vere Scurra Atticus has brought work to an end. The plant has thrived in the dark and humid conditions, ideally suited to its natural habitat. It has grown so much that it cannot be moved. Consequently the Worldwide Plant Conservation Authority guidelines dictate that it be conserved 'in situ', with the premises preserved as an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Vere Scurra Atticus has thrived in the dark and humid interior of
the former shop.
The discovery, and the realisation of the important nature of the plant, was made by Professor Krasavik Durań, head of Plant Conservation for Ness Botanic Gardens & Liverpool University.
Appointed to the role in 2016, Belarussian Professor Durań had returned to Neston a little over three weeks ago, following an ultimately unsuccessful field trip to Central/South America and the Pacific Islands, in search of believed-extinct plant species. He was walking up Neston High Street when something unusual caught his eye.
A sketch of how the plant looks when flowering, usually in early
Speaking to AboutMyArea this week, Professor Durań said: "I was on my way to Neston Market in search of bedding pots, when from the corner of my eye I spotted a green leaf in the window of the shop. I was astonished to discover what appeared to be a healthy and thriving specimen of one of the species I had just travelled half-way around the world in search of."
Subsequent analysis confirmed Professor Durań's observations - resulting in the cessation of renovation of the premises. Work had only just commenced on the refurbishment of the shop frontage, with plans to develop the site as a trendy wine bar, to be rebranded 'Shandies'.
The decision comes as a blow to the Town Centre which has seen recent reinvigoration with the opening of similar venues, bringing in much custom to Neston.
Options are now being considered as to how best to preserve - and present - this unique plant specimen for future generations. Local authorities are understood to have commissioned a feasibility study for a 'Micro Eden Project' on our very own doorstep.
Improvements to the shopfront have been halted by the discovery.
Thank you to everyone for joining in the fun, if you'd like to see our previous April Fool's Day articles, they're all here.