In the August meeting the Parish Council supported the planting of a wildflower meadow in the central part of the verge on the east side of Butlin’s Hill. This work was carried out by volunteers on Saturday. The plants (Birdsfoot trefoil, Wild carrot, Knapweed, Oxeye daisy, Campion and Crimson clover) were provided at no cost by Bragborough Farm. By next summer, the plants should be established and create a flowery entrance to the village.
As important will be the increase in biodiversity. Grass that is mown frequently and is kept short supports less than 10% of the bees and other pollinating insects found in a flowering meadow. We should also see a bigger range of butterflies including the common blue, marbled white, meadow brown and skipper as well as more grasshoppers, shield bugs, spiders and moths. It will also provide more cover for small mammals. Birds should benefit from a wider food supply.
An arc has been planted in the centre of the verge, leaving a 5 metre wide strip next to the road. The whole verge will next be mown in mid-September. Mowing the plants off then will encourage the development of strong plants next year. In 2021 the strip next to the road will be kept short and the meadow will be mown twice a year to allow the plants to seed and create a denser covering in future years.