Improving plant diversity
Collecting wildflower seeds to improve diversity
Published: 12th Nov 2021
During the late summer and autumn our volunteers have been busy harvesting and collecting wildflower seeds from around the site and carefully drying, labelling and storing them.
We have taken seeds from plants in various locations across the site. We have a wonderful wildflower collection planted in old typres; a translocated bank which has the best variety of wildflowers on the site; our bee meadow which has lots of Red Bartsia; the Mump where there is plenty of kidney vetch, and our sensory garden which contains fragrant herbs and shrubs.
Each month we have been planting up seeds in our polytunnel with help from our brilliant Able2Achieve group. We will then plant these out on the nature reserve to improve the diversity across the site. The kidney vetch will go on our butterfly bank as it is the sole food plant of the Small Blue butterfly, a species that is threatened. The red bartsia will also be planted on the butterfly bank and in our Stafford meadow as this plant helps to reduce the coarse grasses. We will also plant knapweed, scabious, and bird’s foot trefoil in our grassland areas.
We have also been collecting berries from hedgerow plants including blackthorn, spindle, dog rose, hawthorn and hope these saplings will eventually help fill up any gaps in the hedges and provide food for visiting birds during the winter months.
Some seed will be broadcast by hand over the next couple of weeks and then again in spring. It will be interesting to try some different methods to see what works the best. We look forward to sharing some photos next year of the wildflowers in bloom.