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A natural technique is being tested to help advance the benefits of an important biodiversity project.

The Denbighshire biodiversity team behind the Wildflower Meadow project have started a pilot program to monitor grass length on site and improve flowering conditions for flowers

As part of the Council’s ongoing commitment to improving biodiversity throughout the county, nearly 60 sites, including highway edges, trail edges, bike paths, and amenity meadows, are being managed for create meadows of wild flowers. These sites, along with the 11 roadside nature reserves, amount to around 30 football pitches worth Denbighshire meadows managed as native wildflower meadows.

As well as protecting the wildflowers, the meadows also contribute to the welfare of the insects native to the Denbighshire region.

And now a Denbigh site has become the basis for an innovative, self-sustaining natural way to cut grass length on the prairies during the season.

Part of the Lower Denbigh prairie has been scarified and seeds of Yellow Rattle, collected from another prairie in town, have been sown.

Councilor Tony Thomas, Senior Member for Housing and Communities, said: “The yellow rattle is a parasitic plant that reduces the growth of grasses. It feeds on the roots of grass, reducing its dominance on the site, allowing more native wildflowers to take hold.

“We will be monitoring the site over the next season to see how the Yellow Rattle takes hold and if this natural, self-sustaining method is successful we will look to introduce it to other locations in Denbighshire to support our drive to increase the biodiversity. ”

All wildflower sites are managed according to Plantlife’s Managing Grassland Road Verges guidelines which prohibit the mowing of grass at these sites between March and August of each year, giving the wildflowers sufficient time to grow, flower and produce seeds.

The site is then mowed down after August and the cuttings are harvested to reduce soil fertility and provide the wildflowers with the best possible conditions.

This project was funded by the Welsh government, through the Cymru ENRaW project of local partnerships for nature.

To learn more about the wildflower meadows of Denbighshire, visit the link below

https://www.denbighshire.gov.uk/en/environmental-health/climate-and-ecological-change/wildflower-meadow-project.aspx


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A NATURAL technique is being tested in Denbighshire to help advance the benefits of an important biodiversity project.

The Denbighshire biodiversity team behind the Wildflower Meadow project have started a pilot program to monitor grass length on site and improve flowering conditions for flowers

As part of the Council’s ongoing commitment to improving biodiversity throughout the county, nearly 60 sites, including highway edges, trail edges, bike paths, and amenity meadows, are being managed for create meadows of wild flowers.

These sites, along with the 11 roadside nature reserves, amount to around 30 football pitches worth Denbighshire meadows managed as native wildflower meadows.

As well as protecting the wildflowers, the meadows also contribute to the welfare of the insects native to the Denbighshire region.

And now a Denbigh site has become the basis for a new, self-sustaining natural way to cut grass length on the prairies during the season.

Part of the Lower Denbigh prairie has been scarified and seeds of Yellow Rattle, collected from another prairie in town, have been sown.

Councilor Tony Thomas, Senior Member for Housing and Communities, said: “The yellow rattle is a parasitic plant that reduces the growth of grasses. It feeds on the roots of grass, reducing its dominance on the site, allowing more native wildflowers to take hold.

“We will be monitoring the site over the next season to see how the Yellow Rattle takes hold and if this natural, self-sustaining method is successful we will look to introduce it to other locations in Denbighshire to support our drive to increase the biodiversity. ”

All wildflower sites are managed according to Plantlife’s Managing Grassland Road Verges guidelines which prohibit the mowing of grass at these sites between March and August of each year, giving the wildflowers sufficient time to grow, flower and produce seeds.

The site is then mowed down after August and the cuttings harvested to reduce soil fertility and provide the wildflowers with the best possible conditions.

This project was funded by the Welsh government, through the Cymru ENRaW project of local partnerships for nature.

To find out more visit: www.denbighshire.gov.uk/en/environmental-health/climate-and-ecological-change/wildflower-meadow-project.aspx


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Bodmin Airfield in Cornwall has been recognized by scientists as having the largest natural hay meadow in the whole of the South West. Since the end of World War II, more than 95% of traditional hay meadows have disappeared from the British rural landscape due to modern farming methods, land drainage, industrial development and housing developments. The loss of this type of habitat has had a dramatic effect on the survival of pollinators, namely bees, which are increasingly recognized by scientists as an essential element in maintaining the balance of the natural environment.

Although its importance is now recognized, the preservation of the Bodmin Airfield hay meadow has come about mainly by accident rather than intention. The reason is that over the past decades no harmful herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers have been sprayed on it, and apart from runways and traffic lanes, the outer field is only cut once. per year. The cuttings are removed from the site by a local farmer to be used as silage and fodder for his livestock. Aerodrome operators also perform a complete site removal every year for tansy ragwort, which can be fatal to sheep, cattle and horses if ingested.

Experts began to appreciate Bodmin’s environmental importance two years ago, when Ian Benallick, a botanical scientist, conducted an investigation of the airfield. The study found more than 150 species of wildflowers, herbs and ferns and more than three thousand orchids of three distinct species. It was at this point that Benallick informed the aerodrome operators of the environmental importance of the site. The discovery led to Bodmin Airfield forming relationships with many interested organizations and academics to help study and protect the site. Investigations since then have resulted in a growing list of nearly 170 species of flora, and soil samples have shown that Bodmin is what the National Vegetation Classification lists as an MG5 grassland landscape, i.e. – say a traditional hay meadow, of which there are now less than six thousand hectares remaining in England.

Darren Fern, Chairman of the Cornwall Flying Club, explained: “We have an exceptional example of native English hay meadow, and the seeds of the grasses are highly sought after by farmers wishing to restore their fields to their natural state. This is an opportunity for all airfields to be recognized as environmental heroes, not villains. We have these resources because for about 40 years we have never used any fertilizer, we have removed invasive and non-native plants, and we have only cut grass tracks, leaving nature s ‘take care of the rest of the place. Botanists from across the country are now asking to visit our site. I encourage all airfield owners to contact their university ecology departments and local farm organizations, so that we can share our resource and be viewed in a positive light.

Bodmin Airfield recently received requests from several National Trust properties to obtain native grass seeds from the site, as the National Trusts seeks to return some of its sites to their natural state.


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PLANS are underway to create a new nature reserve in a village in Herefordshire.

The Herefordshire Wildlife Trust received a new nature reserve as a gift from the residents of Weobley, Martin and Julie Peacock, who recently purchased the three meadows adjoining their property.

Mr. and Mrs. Peacock also provided a generous endowment to fund the maintenance and development of the fields which will be known as Weobley Wildlife Meadows.

They now wish to see the lands managed as a nature reserve with the fields managed as wildflower meadows as a legacy for the village and county. The Herefordshire Wildlife Trust has also agreed to plant a community orchard on the site and to create a pond and other areas of wildlife habitat.

The site already has some wildlife value with thick hedges and a number of grasses and wildflowers already recorded in the prairie.

Mr Peacock said: ‘I am delighted that the fields behind Julie’s and my house which we bought last year are now owned by the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust, which is committed to converting them to first class wildlife meadows in the country. over the next three to four years. The project manager is Lewis Goldwater, based at the trust’s headquarters in Queenswood, on Hereford Road, just south of Leominster.

Lewis Goldwater, Herefordshire Wildlife Trust Manager, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to create a new nature reserve for the local community in Weobley. We think this site could be great for wildlife and can’t wait to start its restoration. We will be spreading wildflower seeds from other sites to add more species of wildflowers and grasses to the meadow, so that in a few years it should be full of bees and butterflies as well as small mammals. such as voles which in turn are prey for birds such as barn owls which we hope to see here in the future.

“We are going to create a pond in a meadow – vital for wildlife, especially since so many people have disappeared from the countryside in recent decades – and plant a traditional orchard. While the fruits will provide food for humans and wildlife, older trees will provide a range of nesting places for birds and bats and habitat for beetles, which over time will also become a wonderful habitat for wildlife.

The trust aims to complete the restoration work over the next few years, but plans to open the reserve to the public as soon as possible.


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Standen Tip, on Evergreen Farm, East Grinstead, was closed in the early 1990s and turned into rough pasture.

Today, candidate Chirs Pearce intends to spend two years importing over 190,000 tonnes of inert clay and soil scraps, turning the site into a mix of native hardwood forests and native grassy prairies.

The plans will be reviewed at a meeting of the Planning and Rights of Way Committee on Tuesday, September 7.

This will not be the first time that the committee has considered the request.

It was postponed to June to allow Pearce to reconsider the amount of equipment offered as well as the impact on road safety and traffic management.

The original idea was to import the soil in 80 weeks using 31 daily truck deliveries, including Saturdays.

A report to the committee said: “The requester has proposed amendments to remove work on Saturdays and import material over a longer period of time.

“This would translate into less daily heavy truck trips but would increase the total time to undertake the development, including for the gradual restoration of the site. “

If the request is approved, the work will take 104 weeks instead of 80, and there will be 25 deliveries per day instead of 31.

The idea of ​​heavy goods vehicles to and from the site – old schools and nurseries – was the main concern raised in more than 240 objections sent to the council.

One opponent wrote: “East Grinstead’s infrastructure is already grappling with traffic. The roads are too congested, speed is also an issue, and frankly adding trucks at this level is at best a waiting accident, at worst a reason not to approach East Grinstead any further.

To view the full application, log in to westsussex.planning-register.co.uk and search for WSCC / 004/20.


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A WILD FLOWER meadow will be created in a park in Prestatyn to stimulate pollinating insects.

Denbighshire County Council has planted native species including pink sorrel at Fford Bodnant Park as part of its plans to improve biodiversity.

This meadow, approximately 0.4 acres in size, will be located along the outer edge of the park and will include the area between the road and the wooden fence.

It won’t impact how the rest of the site is used by residents, the council said.

“As part of the council’s ongoing commitment to improving biodiversity throughout the county, nearly 60 sites, including freeway sides, trail edges, bike paths, and amenity meadows, are being managed. to create wildflower meadows, ”a council spokesperson said.

“In addition to protecting the wildflowers, the meadows also contribute to the welfare of the insects native to the Denbighshire region.”

In April, council identified 29 additional sites for its Wildflower Project, which will plant wildflowers along highways, trail edges, bike paths, and grasslands.

The grasslands are managed according to Plantlife Managing Grassland Road Verges guidelines, which prohibit cutting grass between March and August to give the wildflowers enough time to grow, flower and sow, before a full cut in early September.

Wildflowers are a vital food source for pollinators, such as butterflies, bees, and other insects.

The wildflower sites, along with the council’s 11 roadside nature reserves, represent nearly 60 acres of native wildflower habitat in Denbighshire.


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Joe Bear at Allens Meadow. (contributed)

Until recently, for anyone who wanted to see an unsightly sagebrush sea, there was no better place than Allen’s Prairie just west of the Community gardens. But now, thanks to the efforts of the Wilton resident Joe bear, a local environmentalist, gardener and bird watcher, things have started to change.

Mugwort – officially Artemisia vulgaris – is an extremely aggressive non-native Eurasian plant that quickly outperforms native flora, so much so that it has earned a prominent place on the invasive plant lists of most states, including including that of Connecticut.

Mugwort’s invincible root system, which spreads quickly even in the most unwelcoming soils, makes it nearly impossible to eradicate – even a root sliver left in the ground will sprout into a new plant. To make matters worse, its pollen is a major contributor to hay fever.

Bear has been watching Allen’s Meadow since he and his wife, Barbara, moved to Wilton 20 years ago. He worried about the inhospitable habitat that the invasive mugwort created, especially for native pollinators. Many butterflies, bees and other native pollinators are in severe decline, largely because native plant species are being supplanted by non-native ones, such as sagebrush.

As an expert ornithologist and gardener, Bear had previously jumped on the Pollinator path running and created a pollinator garden in his home. Now at Allen’s Meadow, Bear saw the opportunity to throw another lifeline to pollinators.

“It’s so gratifying to see so many native butterfly and bee species pollinating native plants,” he said. “This is how it’s supposed to be.”

It was after signing for a community garden plot at Allen’s Meadow in 2020 that Bear decided to expand his business.

“I realized after selecting a patch along the back edge that the backdrop was the unsightly mess of sagebrush. That’s when I thought, hey, wouldn’t it be great if instead it was a meadow of native pollinators! “

Bear sought approval from City of Wilton officials in developing a meadow restoration and management plan, which was subsequently approved by the Parks and Recreation Commission as good as Conservation Commission. After some delays related to COVID, the Wilton Selection Council gave the green light to the project at its May 17 meeting.

The Wilton Conservation Commission has always supported this project.

“Joe’s commitment to [the] The creation of the pollinator meadow at Allen’s Meadows is a gift to the community and wildlife that make this park their habitat, whether they are there year-round or pass through during migration, ”explains Jackie Algon, President of the Conservation Commission. “This restoration – and its process – is a model for the residents of Wilton who realize that the beauty of our native plants would enhance their own properties while providing much-needed food and habitat for insects, birds and other animals. wild. “

Bear’s plan consisted of two parts. First, with the green light from Director of Parks and Recreation Steve Pierce, the large barbon meadow nearby was mown in March for the first time in over 10 years. In what will become an annual maintenance effort, this mowing will prevent encroachment of trees and shrubs in native grasslands.

“What a rewarding sight to see Allen’s Meadow look like, well, a meadow. Blackbirds finding food in the brush, a few scattered killers, tree swallows and bluebirds entering and leaving the nesting boxes we set up with the help of the Girl Scouts, ”said Bear.

Bear led a group of volunteers in Part 2 of the Plan: Using a combination of tarps to smother intractable plants and mowing frequently to stunt their growth and ability to photosynthesize.

While Bear has done much of the heavy lifting – literally – he doesn’t hesitate to thank everyone who lent a hand: the Norwalk River Watershed Association, which serves as the sponsoring organization; local ecologist and community gardener Jamie van acker who has partnered with Joe from the start; the Town of Wilton, Parks and Recreation and the Conservation Commission; and the Connecticut Ornithological Association and the Hartford Audubon Society, who provided mini-grants for the project.

Bear said Allen’s Meadow is “a special place,” a place that has become his favorite birding spot and has led many birding walks there for CT Audubon and other local organizations.

“Now, as a gardener, I am very happy to help Allen’s Meadow be part of the pollinator trail. Whether it’s birds, bees, butterflies or native plants, it’s all linked. I am honored to provide this prairie restoration stewardship to a city park that has given so much to me and my family.

To reinforce this point, Joe shared one of his favorite quotes from naturalist John Muir: “When you shoot just one thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”

A fundraising campaign for the Bear’s Allen’s Meadow restoration project is supported by Sustainable CT. Residents of Wilton can help bring the project to fruition with an online contribution.


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Dog walker Dave Cory said the “beautiful” area of ​​Poolsbrook Country Park has become a haven for bees, butterflies and other wildlife.

However, when he arrived for his regular walk in the park last week, Dave was shocked to find that the flowers and grass had been cut and “absolutely gutted.”

He said people were being “bombarded” every day with messages to save nature, not destroy it, and Chesterfield Borough Council should be less “obsessed with keeping everything tidy”.

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Chesterfield dog walker Dave Cory shows what the Poolsbrook Country Park nature reserve and meadow looked like.

A council spokesperson said a formal contract between the authority and the Ministry of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) meant that it had to carry out the work and was intended to “effectively manage the long-term biodiversity” of the region.

Dave, 82, who lives in Tapton, Chesterfield but goes to the park to walk his dog, said: “I went there on Monday and it was beautiful.

“The next day it was all gone. He looked completely sterile.

Photo of Dave Cory of Poolsbrook Park Nature Reserve before it was reduced.

“It’s beautiful in the park. You can spend a few hours there and you wouldn’t even know where you were.

“This little nature reserve area was perfect. It doesn’t need to be mowed, but it looks like the city council paid a contractor to do it.

“It might have sounded a little harsh, but the bees and butterflies didn’t care. I don’t understand why they had to do it.

Chesterfield Borough Council says work at Poolsbrook Country Park is necessary for the long-term future of the prairie.

“Other people I’ve spoken to at the park agree it’s such a shame.”

A spokesperson for the Chesterfield Borough Council said: “The management of the grassland area in Poolsbrook National Park is carried out under a formal contract with the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra ) and Natural England, known as High Level Stewardship.

“This program aims to effectively manage the long-term biodiversity of an area.

“Under this arrangement, this site and several others in the borough must be shut down between August 1 and September 31.

“While we understand that it can be disappointing to see these areas reduced, this work ensures that they will thrive again next year and help the area continue to thrive. “


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A “beautiful” meadow of wildflowers has blossomed on the site of a temporary Covid-19 morgue removed a year ago today.

Erected at Wanstead Flats at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, the temporary mortuary was removed on August 5, 2020, to make way for wildflower habitat.

Graeme Doshi-Smith, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Epping Forest and Commons Committee, said: “It is beautiful and moving to see what blossomed in this space a year later.

“He was transformed from a morgue and returned to [Epping] Forest like meadow in an even better state with more wildflowers than before.

“The prairie is a rich habitat for visitors and wildlife.


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A fence, which was put in place to allow flowers to take hold, has been removed with this part of Epping Forest open again.

Sown last summer, the wildflower meadow helps return the prairie to its natural state and provides additional wildflowers for pollinators, including bees and moths.

Grass is to be cut for hay at the end of summer and in the years to come it is believed that hay cuts will help maintain the variety of species.

Flowers planted include blueberries, yellow goat’s beard, German chamomile, vetch, meadow pea, corn marigold, common daisies, and daisies.


The temporary morgue for coronavirus victims has been built at Wanstead Flats.
– Credit: PA / Yui Mok

The morgue opened last April and was one of six temporary installations in London.

It contained the bodies of those who died from the virus before their burial and was removed as the UK emerged from the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The four-acre site, which forms the southern edge of Epping Forest, has been reseeded with native species and temporarily fenced to protect young plants.

Wanstead Flats is recognized as one of the capital’s most important dry grasslands on gravel soils.

It is hailed as a rare wildlife habitat that is home to special flowers, butterflies, moths and bees.

The City Corporation protects 11,000 acres of green space in the capital, including West Ham Park, Hampstead Heath and Burnham Beeches.


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London is full of green spaces that are often packed with people when the sun rises.

It’s easy to run to Hyde Park or Green Park for your dose of nature, but it just doesn’t have to be when the capital has so much to offer.

Fortunately for Londoners looking to take a break from the crowds, there are lesser-known pastures perfect for a relaxing afternoon – including a secret spot in Finchley.

Now you can turn to your friends who have left town and say smugly, ‘Who needs to move to Somerset when you can take the Northern Line and feel like you’re in the country? “

READ MORE: Buckingham Palace to open for picnics for the first time



A pond day is organized in the pasture so that the public can discover the creatures that live there

In Finchley, in the borough of Barnet, is Long Lane Pasture, a hidden gem where you can run your hands over a flowery meadow and stroll along narrow paths.

A true slice of country life, visitors will be enchanted by the wildlife, especially birds and butterflies.

The two-acre prairie hosts annual events focused on the prairie ecosystem, such as a pond day where newts and tadpoles can be spotted.

In July, the public can participate in a moth count before the species are released into the sky in a marvelous spectacle.

If counting creatures isn’t enough to make you feel like a country boor, then blackberry picking day in early August should do the trick.

Long Lane Pastures also offers a bulb planting day for those who want to get stuck later in the year in November.



Wildflowers have grown in pastures as they come to life throughout the year

The pasture is taken care of by volunteers and has been awarded Green Flag status by the Keep Britain Tidy campaign for the area’s cleanliness and environmental quality standards.

This secret hideaway in the heart of the suburb of Finchley is a real treat for those looking to get in touch with nature.

What’s your favorite hidden gem in London? Let us know in the comments section here.


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