Local schools contribute to Whiteshill wildflower project

Posted in Wild flowers on Sep 05, 2021.

It’s been a glorious summer for the Small Common wildflower area, at Whiteshill Common (Hambrook). Bees have been buzzing between over 65 varieties of native British wildflowers. The renowned house martin colony has been seen swooping throughout the grassland. And several species of bats can be seen at dusk, adding to the area’s biodiversity. The wildflowers were allowed to naturally thrive with permission from Winterbourne Parish Council in spring 2020. After the first summer of growth, WEG volunteers enhanced the visual variety with plug planting in the Autumn. New grass paths have now been cut into the area thanks to local resident Jim Collings, which means the plants and insects can be observed and enjoyed up close. Now local schoolchildren are getting more involved in this nature conservation project thanks to a grant from UWE Bristol and the Quartet Foundation. The funding not only bought wildflowers for the Small Common, but has contributed to nature clubs at Hambrook Primary School, St Michael’s Primary, and Elm Park Primary. UWE Bristol’s wildflower expert Dr Helen Hoyle has also advised the project, working with her MSc student Tristan Goldsmid. Interviews with local residents found that wildflowers brighten up the area, and if well managed with visual varieties, they make a welcome addition to our leisure spaces. As Covid restrictions lift, WEG volunteers will be working with schoolchildren to explore the benefits of insect pollinators for wildlife, and for our food supplies. The children will be making posters about these projects, which will decorate local areas throughout Winterbourne. The wildflower area is due to have its annual cut in the Autumn, but will then make a welcome return in 2022.


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