The county’s wild patches have exploded into colour over the past couple of weeks as wild flowers have come into bloom. The blue of Bluebells and Green Alkanet; white Greater Stichwort and Jack-by-the-Hedge; Red Dead Nettle and purple Ground Ivy; the pale yellow of Cowslips; delicate pink Ladies Smock which seems to be everywhere this year (good news for Orange-tip Butterflies). Best of all are the sun-yellow heads of Dandelions which are blooming everywhere. All these wild flowers provide food and shelter for bees and other invertebrates which in their turn feed birds and small mammals on which larger mammals, raptors, owls and corvids feed – all part of the rich web of life. To survive, and thrive, these flowers must be left to set seed. Cowslips, which were scarce in my childhood, have flourished since motorway embankments have been mown less frequently. Financial cutbacks, which mean road verges are cut fewer times and later each year, are good news for wildlife.
Plantlife’s ‘No Mow May Campaign‘ encourages you to leave more to nature – to put the mower away, leave your lawn to grow, flower and seed and see all the benefits that that brings for wildlife. Click here for more details.
In his talk for our recent HGN Gathering last Wednesday, Andrew de la Haye spoke about the importance of biodiversity. He runs his one acre plot on Permaculture principles, letting nature do the work and interfering as little as possible, with remarkable results. If you were not able to attend the meeting, the recording is available on the HGN website. Click here to view it.