We had a training session last Saturday with Sustrans. I updated the facebook page and will just pull that update onto here because it forms the main thrust of our winter work schedule.
“Sow new seeds on the banks where nettles are, after clearing the nettles and dead vegetation underneath.
Don’t leave grass cuttings on the path – collect as we mow or rake afterwards.
Every wildflower is important. Be aware of what is already there.
Aim to clear as much scrub as possible (in the winter) to allow grass and wildflowers to grow (Sustrans want 100% more scrub cleared and open ground according to David from Sustrans).
We can work down to the A45.
Don’t mow until everything has flowered – difficult because we want to maintain a path as well as a wildflower haven. This is why we are getting the width so wildflowers can grow between the mown path and the shrubbery on the edges.
Rake the thatch off the grass but we don’t really need to do much else to get new seeds to set.
Work out what needs doing in the winter, whilst everything is in bloom in the summer.
We have a lot of Bloody Nosed Beatles so make something of this asset.
Get some signs made explaining what we are doing and who we are, as a group”.
So today’s workday was done with the above in mind.
First we watered our wildflower bed. This is supposed to be a hub that will flower and then seed the local area. With the scrub clearance that is planned for the winter, this will not be enough.
We then just found bare earth patches and sowed a little bit of seed and raked it over.
This will be the last bit of sowing seed for this side of summer. The rest of our time will be just cutting back anything that is growing across the path, monitoring and recording flora and fauna, and litter.
With the scrub clearance plan for the winter, we obviously need something to grow in place of the removed scrub. If we leave it we will probably just get nettles. What I want is a wildflower meadow, so I have set up a plan to seed the areas that we clear, with a limestone liking wildflower and grass mix.
I have set up a crowdfund to get the funds together to pay for the seeds.
Thanks all who have already contributed.
This is the area that we want to change from scrub to wildflower meadow.
This is probably our most ambitious winter works schedule so far, We did have this area totally cleared a few years ago so the scrub is all pretty new. But to get a load of wildflowers and decent grasses growing will be fantastic for wildlife and biodiversity, and for the mental health of us humans. We all need a beautiful place to sit at, and a picnic table is a bit of a bonus and will help us reconnect with nature, make some like-minded friends and just be at one with oneself.