Thanks to a Parish Council initiative, in the summer of 2017 five small areas on roadside verges around the village were cleared for the sowing of wild flowers. These were (1) at the entrance to the Village Hall and (2) outside the Primary School on Greenway, (3) on the grass verge at Chapel Close and (4) by the Methodist Chapel on Windmill Hill, and (5) opposite Barton Way. These, it was hoped, would not only be lovely to look at, but would be great nectar stops for butterflies, bees and other pollinators.

The patch at Chapel Close

We were therefore pleased that some of these sites did extremely well and added colour to the roadside in their first year, especially the patches outside the Village Hall, at Chapel Close and Barton Way. The area outside the school did not fare very well probably due to its slope, and it took until the second year for the Methodist Chapel site to flourish with Red Campion. It was especially pleasing to see a male Common Blue butterfly (which are not very common) by the patch at Barton Way in the summer of 2017.

Red Campion at the Methodist Chapel site

However, the hot dry summer of 2018 was a severe test for these patches and they struggled to flourish. It will nevertheless be interesting to see how they evolve in the future and what species they support.

Some of the insects to be found among the wildflower patches