- Wild Flower Project Overview
Our brief for the wild flower project is under development but the aim is to collect and collate information about wildflowers that grow in the parishes of Thurne and Ashby with Oby and to consider what could grow in the future.
- Wild Flower Project – Start
Concept Of The Wild Flower Project
We are planning an exciting new project with the aim of enhancing and assessing the wild flowers in the villages of Thurne, Ashby and Oby.
Wild flowers are very vulnerable in many ways and some of the ones that we can remember from the past have disappeared: Orchids from Dubeck, Violets near the Church, Lady’s Smock on the marshes…
However Thurne, Ashby and Oby are still great places for wild flowers to flourish and with some consideration and planning we think we could add greatly to what we already have.
Having as wide a variety of wild flowers as possible will not only complement the visual appearance of our villages and be very beneficial to bees and butterflies and other pollinating insects. It will also benefit all of us in return.
This project is beginning to take shape although ideas and suggestions are very welcome. So far we have thought we would collect and collate information about wild flowers that grow in the parishes of Thurne and Ashby with Oby and consider what could grow in the future.
The following tasks are under consideration:
· a photographic record of wild flowers currently growing in the parishes
· an audit or snapshot survey to quantify the status quo
· a summary of or links to information on identifying native wild flowers
· a survey to identify habitats that could be colonised by other species as well as any measures to safeguard existing stocks
· gathering seed and growing new plants.
- Pink Campion & Ox Eye Daisy
Pink Campion and Ox Eye Daisy are two lovely flowers to grow and very beneficial for wild life.
Pink Campion is in flower from May to June. It is a perennial and once established will come back year after year. They are very tolerant and grow well in a meadow or in semi shade.
Pink Campion can be grown easily from seed. You can either scatter seed directly in growing position or grow in trays and then transplant. Sow seed in the spring or early autumn. The plants will grow to a height of between 30 to 100 cm. There is also a White Campion and sometimes you get a cross pollination of the two which has delicate pale pink flowers.
In the language of flowers Pink Campion symbolises gentleness.
Pink Campion is also known as Bachelors’ buttons which suggests it was once worn as a buttonhole by young unmarried men. Other local names include Johnny Woods, Ragged Jack and Scalded Apples.
Ox Eye Daisy
Ox Eye Daisy is in flower from May to July. They are perennials and once established will come back year after year. They grow well in a meadow or in a garden. Seed can be cultivated in the same way as for Pink Campion and they grow to the same height range as well.
In the Language of Flowers, Daisy means ‘innocence’.
The word daisy comes from two Anglo-Saxon words: daeges and eage, which mean ‘day’s eye’. When the flowers open, the white petals uncover and surround the yellow ‘florets’ at the centre. The yellow ‘florets’ resemble the sun, so the flower is considered to be the ‘eye’ of the day.
The ox eye daisy was also known as Marguerite after the French princess who adopted it as her official emblem. Princess Marguerite of Angouleme (1282-1317) was known as Daisy.
- What Can You Do?
Making room for and encouraging wild flowers is easy, here’s a few suggestions!
* Collect seeds, sow and grow
* Share seeds with friends
* Make room in your garden for wild flowers, some like Pink Campion and Ox Eye Daisy look just as lovely as any garden centre plant. Foxglove, Mullein and Teasel are also very impressive.
* Plant wild flowers in a container
* Weed considerately. Does it really have to come out or could there be a space for it in its own right?
* Learn about the different kinds of wild flowers. There’s lots of information on line and in books. For example:
* Join our Wild Flower Project
* Think about where wild flowers could be planted around Thurne, Ashby and Oby.
* Take note of where wild flowers are growing now.
* Think about where wild flowers used to grow and which species they were.
* Enhance what you already have. You probably already grow some wild flowers without even realising, Snowdrops, Foxgloves, Violets, Lily of the Valley, Evening Primrose to name a few.
- Community Planting
Transforming a community area by planting wild flowers
Preparation started in October 2015. The planting area is a 1 m wide strip of roadside verge over 20m long adjacent to the fence alongside the playing field. The contractors responsible for cutting the grass have been involved from the start and have cut round the area (23rd March) planted with cultivated daffodils which should come into flower by mid-April.
Work done in 2016
Bulbs and Seedbombs
At the Thurne Fete in July 2016, we held a seed bomb making stall explaining how they were made and the seeds we were using in them. This was a great success and we received several generous donations to our funds.
In September, we bought in a stock of native daffodils, snake fritillary and species tulips. Combining this with our stock of seedbombs we distributed to every household in the village a package containing 5 native daffodils, 3 snake fritillaries and several seedbombs with instructions for optimum planting or distribution. We were gratified by the warm reception that our packages received. Next year we have plans to extend this distribution.
a) A group of us planted the species tulips and other bulbs and seed bombs in the grass in front of the public toilets in the Autumn.
b) The Verge from Thatched House to the playing field has been cleared. For this we are very grateful to Leslie George. We propose to spray this off in the spring and then replant with wildflower seeds and grasses.
- Hedge Planting March 2017
18 March 2017 – Hedge Planting Day 1 – Good Progress Made
The Wild Flower Group and volunteers from the village joined with a local farmer to plant hedges along the bridle way running eastwards from Home Farm during the weekend 18/19 March. The mixed hedge which contains 4,000 plants is made up from hawthorn, blackthorn, hazel, field maple, crab apple and dog roses. After planting, the plants were staked and protected from rabbits, hare and deer.
Thanks to all who came and helped. Your work will be appreciated by people and wildlife in the years to come.
25 March 2017 – Hedge Planting Day 2 – Further Progress Made
Planting along the eastern edge of the field was completed (southwards alongside the bridle path from NGR TG 40933 15864 to its intersection with Church Road).
- Wild Flower Project 2018-19
Community Wood Planting
The focus of attention shifted from planting communal areas in the village and efforts to encourage planting indigneous varities in residents’ gardens to tackling the large canvas of the Community Wood.
Acitivites ranged from planting perimeter hedges to laying out sweeping walkways with cluster planting of wild flowers.
Primroses and native bluebells were planted in the open central area of the wood and snowdrops are dotted among the trees. The hedging comprises hawthorn, dog rose, field maple, guelder rose, hornbeam and wild privet. It is hoped these will attract and provide food for the wildlife.
Tree species planted are a mixture of evergreens and deciduous and comprise common, red and evergreen oak, lime, beech, yew. hornbeam, holly and silver birch and more shrubby plants such as dogwood and guelder rose are mixed among them. This has been a wonderful community project with lots of parishioners taking part in the planting .
- Wild Flower Project 2020
2020 – Year of the Global Pandemic
The first Lockdown in March 2020 followed by the subsequent Social Distancing restrictions meant there were no group activities in connection with the Wild Flower Project.