Forty days of meadow-making

Friday 29th August 2014

Over 90 teenagers have spent part of their summer holidays creating new meadows in Lincolnshire.

With the teenagers help the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust’s new Wildflower Meadow Network Project got off to a great start this summer. Approximately 3,300 wildflowers have been planted and 9,000m2 of meadow created in locations where local people can enjoy them in summers to come.

The main contribution has been from eight National Citizen Service groups totalling around ninety 15-18 year-old volunteers who have raked hay, dug turf, sown seeds and planted new wildflower areas in green spaces in Wellingore, Navenby, Branston, Sleaford, Grantham, Louth and Caistor. In total 115 volunteers, over 40 days this summer, have contributed over 400 man-days to the meadow-making effort.

Project Officer Mark Schofield said: “The involvement of so many volunteers has made such a huge effort possible. I am especially grateful to the volunteers from National Citizen Service (NCS) who worked through the hot days of July and August. Their commitment proves that young people do care about the environment and their local communities. NCS offers an excellent resource for community projects and the Wildlife Trust hopes to continue working with them.

Their commitment proves that young people do care about the environment and their local communities.

“It has been very encouraging to meet so many people of all ages who want to see more wildlife-friendly green spaces in Lincolnshire’s villages and market towns. Often, these community meadows highlight local heritage sites, churchyards or thoroughfares which enhance the environment for local residents and are cheaper to maintain than short turf. We are still only just beginning to raise awareness about the value of green spaces for people and wildlife but with these trial areas we are hoping to prove what is possible and rekindle the embers of the wildflowers Lincolnshire has lost over recent decades. We have been very careful to ensure the plants and seed we used were wild and locally sourced.”

Preparation work began last autumn when volunteers gathered seed from Lincolnshire’s Coronation Meadow: Red Hill nature reserve. The seed was dried, prepared and posted to more than 25 volunteers who gave their time and greenhouse space this spring to propagate and grow the plants. HMP Lincoln donated hundreds of spare plant pots and trays; Holm Wood Farm in Horncastle was very helpful in providing a storage space for plants between planting events and Heather’s Florist in Horncastle proved to be a generous supply of plastic crates which helped with transportation.

Further seed collection from Red Hill has been undertaken by the Lincoln Conservation Group and Mareham Pastures Local Nature Reserve in Sleaford benefited from a corporate team day by Lloyds-Halifax Mortgage Advisors.

The Lincolnshire Wildflower Meadow Network Project is a three year partnership project, with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Lincolnshire County Council and Lincolnshire Wolds Countryside Service, which aims to inspire local communities to create and restore a network of wildflower meadows through Lincolnshire’s rolling hills in the south-west of the county, the Lincoln Edge and the Lincolnshire Wolds.

 

Find out more about Lincolnshire's Wildflower Meadow Network project


 

Tagged with: Living Landscapes, Volunteering