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Wildflower Planting

Why plant wildflowers?

There has been a dramatic decline in wildflower diversity in the last century, and a corresponding decline in the insects which rely on them: we need to do whatever we can to reverse it, and just reducing mowing of our commons may not be enough. So to give nature a helping hand we have planted 42 species in total as seeds, bulbs, plugs or turf. Some will simply increase the depleted numbers of existing populations and will add to the seed bank, others are new to Shamley Green, but all will be really beneficial for insect pollinators.

We will be monitoring which species do well: we will assess whether it is worth the extra expense of turf to ensure they thrive, or if  plug plants will cope adequately with the conditions here, or maybe the cheapest option of some limited scarifying and scattering of seed is sufficient.

For a full list of all the wildflower species planted click here.

You will see our stencilled posts showing  where the newly planted areas are, and blue heart signs are moved from place to place seasonally to show contractors where not to mow.

See our hard-working  planting crews in action on our news pages for November 21 and Winter 22/23

Click on the following for other news articles about wildflower planting:

Wildflower marker posts 2022

Blue heart signs 2023

Bulb planting October 2023

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Here is where we have planted so far:

 

What to look out for in our wildflower planting areas

We planted  plug plants and sowed seeds of these 13 species in 2021, chosen to augment the existing seed bank. They are species which had already been recorded in the area by us  or previously by the BSBI (Botanical Society for Britain and Ireland), and with the new mowing regime we are hoping that our additions  will help the existing populations to recolonise the commons.

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Click on the individual photos for more information.

Additional species planted

 

These bulbs and other species are either non-native to Britain or had not been previously recorded in Shamley Green either by us or BSBI. In a few cases it may be that they were here in small numbers and were missed. They will be a valuable addition to the flora for pollinating insects, particularly early in the year. 

Wildflower Turf

On the greens at Hullmead and by Malthouse we also laid some wildflower turf, containing a further 10 existing species: Autumn hawkbit, Bird's foot trefoil, Bladder campion, Cat's ear, Common vetch, Meadowsweet, Perforate St. John's wort, Tufted vetch, Wild marjoram, and Red clover.

It also contains Toadflax, Kidney vetch and Meadow cranesbill, previously unrecorded here, and two fine grasses , Sheep's fescue and Crested dog's tail, which won't swamp the wildflowers.

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