COMMUNITY Action to help our Pollinators

Transition Town Wellington (TTW) are excited to share in a new project that is being piloted this year. We are working, together with the Somerset West and Taunton’s Open Spaces Team and Somerset’s Pollinator Action Plan, to develop wildflower meadows in some subtle places around Wellington.

The meadows we are creating are true perennial wildflower meadows.

Now how does this differ from the colourful verges that you see councils in places like Rotherham doing? Well, a lot of these displays around the country, including the beautiful field in Stogumber, are sown with cornfield annual flowers.

These are important for wildlife because they have been lost from our arable farms due to the use of chemical herbicides and artificial fertilisers.

However, these flowers only germinate on freshly dug soil. In order to maintain these, they need to be dug up, the ground sometimes sprayed with weed killer, and resown next year. Not the most environmentally friendly practice, especially if done by machine.

The best thing you can do to help increase the amount of these flowers is by either sowing them in the boarders of your garden, which you can tend by hand, or by buying organic food, as this will see them return to our farmland.

TTW and the council are working to the guidelines put forward by the Pollinator Action Plan and Plantlife, which involves the sensitive management of our grassy spaces to increase year long habitat for insects to breed and hibernate.

This is vital if we are to stop the catastrophic decline of our insect species, which are so important when it comes to pollinating our food crops, and protecting the basis of the food chain for other wildlife species.

TTW have been working with our new Engagement Lead to ensure that the grass mowing routines allow the wildflower seed we have sown to grow.

This is a great initiative by the new organisation within the council, with every town having their own contact, should other community groups wish to do the same.

The areas will soon be marked with signs, and publicised on our website, so you can find them.

We have been oversowing grass using a mix of 100% wildflower seed with perennial plants, to give a long season of flower types to keep the colour and interest going through the year.

These meadows do take years to develop to their full glory, so we must be patient.

We’ve included yellow rattle, to suppress the grass, and corn poppies to give a splash of colour in the first year, and also to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in 2020.

We want to develop our home town not only as a beautiful place to live, but also a haven for wildlife.

Transition Town Wellington