If you’ve driven through Stalbridge recently, you’ve probably seen the ‘mess’ of the roadside verge. Local Caressence Roden explains what’s going on:
We are a group of local residents who just love wildflowers and all they bring with them. That includes helping pollinators survive, encouraging birds and wildlife and easing our carbon footprint.
It’s surely a win win situation as we are sowing in public spaces so that everyone can enjoy them. We have a couple of road verges in the town, a central green area and under two of the Stalbridge signs as you drive out of the town. We hope that as our beds become even more successful, we will extend into other verges but for now, we have enough on our plates!
The idea came to us about a year ago and our Town Council decided they liked the idea and gave us some funding to start out. Having never done anything like it before, we knew we would have to learn as we went along….and we have!
We had some real success with the seeds planted under the road signs and one of the verges and that was because they went into bare soil. The seeds that we sowed onto grass areas, even though we had mowed, scarified and raked, didn’t fair so well.
So as autumn is the perfect sowing season for wildflower seeds, we hired a turf cutter, got some strong Wild Helpers onboard and got to work.
We had 9 volunteers turn up on a sunny Saturday morning as once the turf had been cut, it had to be turned over and raked to get rid of the odd large stone and grass tuft. We sowed the seeds and now we hope for a damp autumn with an occasional frost to help them germinate.
The seeds we are using are UK seeds, authentically sourced, so that we can encourage and support the local wildlife. Seeds from abroad are often very pretty and cheaper but we are really trying to care for our own local environment, so UK seeds felt the right way to go.
We love to have other Stalbridge groups onboard with us and have Stalbridge Creative making knitted bees on stilts to hover amongst the wildflowers, The Gugg continues to help us in many ways and before lockdown we had planned to include our primary school in many of the activities. Even so, the children were able to pick up the ingredients needed to make seed bombs, so all wasn’t lost.
Please wish us well for next year….and look out for wildflowers as you drive around Stalbridge next year.