As you go about the parish, you may have noticed wildflower areas have sprung up, generating nectar-rich areas for bees and other insects. As a parish council, we want to do our bit to help combat climate change and habitat loss which has sadly led to a sharp decline in wildlife across the country.
Wildflower areas have been created:
- On Kenchester’s Triangle
- By the green cabinet between Kenchester’s Old Rectory and the Triangle
- By the Bishopstone Church sign on the way to Mansel Lacy
- Down Ferry Lane in Byford
- By entrance to The Forge in Byford
This is just the beginning. We are re-introducing wildflowers that would have grown in the hedgerows and green spaces in times gone by – plants like red campion, oxeye daisies, wild strawberries, teasels, common mullein and foxgloves.
These areas provide food and shelter for our declining wildlife. The plants are food for butterflies and moths and in the autumn seeds for various types of birds to eat. The grubs from beneficial insects like hover-flies eat greenfly and blackfly which tend to multiply out of control.
Across the UK, just 0.7% of land is nature reserves yet there are thousands of miles of road verges that could be transformed into havens for wild flowers and the wildlife they support. If we can provide a network of routes that support wildlife then nature reserves and other areas of high biodiversity can be linked rather than remain islands within an intensively farmed landscape.
Some wildflowers do quite well in our hedgerows – daffodils, snowdrops, yellow celandines, white stitchwort, white deadnettle, meadowsweet and of course primroses. What we’re lacking are nectar-rich flowers as the summer progresses and this is the gap we’re trying to fill.
Thankfully, farmers are incentivised to improve habitats for farmland birds and insect pollinators through the Countryside Stewardship scheme (soon to be replaced by ELM) but that’s not enough.
If you’d like to help bring back wildlife to our verges and hedgerows along with a burst of colour, do get in touch and we can provide wildflower plug plants and ideas on what is suitable for sunny and shaded areas.