I have thoroughly enjoyed Sarah Raven’s Butterflies, Bees and Blooms BBC Two Wednesday nights. Even more so I’ve been thrilled by the number of people contacting us wanting advice – 55 in the last few days alone! Luckily, we have a fantastic suite of grassland advisory leaflets, produced by Harriet Hollaway – one of our graduate interns. You can download these for free from our website.
Wednesday night was the final episode of Sarah’s programme and focused on how our Cities can play their part in bringing more colour and buzz to our parks, road verges and other open spaces – which are often boring grass monocultures. We like this – a lot.
In 2008 The Grasslands Trust got involved in a project with the local council and the Durham Wildlife Trust to transform an acre of short mown grass at Riverside Park, Chester le Street, County Durham. The restoration process was relatively straight forward and saw wildflowers such as ox-eye daisy flourishing within a year.
A couple of years later with the introduction of plugs and more seed – (all locally sourced) and this is what visitors to the Riverside Meadow would see – an absolute riot of colour with knapweed, yarrow and devil’s bit scabious attracting masses of bumblebees and butterflies. The response from visitors to the park has been equally encouraging.
The cost of carrying out a project like this is nominal – especially if the local community and volunteers can get involved . Without the need to mow every two weeks, Councils can save thousands of pounds in maintenance work. In addition to benefiting visitors – which are a fair few given the park is opposite the cricket ground – local school children have also got involved. Funding from The Grasslands Trust paid for the creation of this stunning interpretation board designed by the children of Nettlesworth Primary School.
And we are delighted to say, that this project has also won three environmental awards.
Lucy Cooper, Chief Executive, The Grasslands Trust