Establishment and management of the wild flower areas is continuing. An important element is leaving areas of vegetation from the previous growing season, over the winter. The uncut stalks provide valuable forage for farmland birds, including large flocks of Goldfinch, Linnet and Bullfinch.
The swale in front of Dukes Parade was recently cut by the EuCan (European Conservation Action Network) volunteers, using brush cutters. The cut material was hand-raked and moved by pitchfork to the path-side, before being removed for composting.
The sown chalk downland flowers, including Kidney Vetch, Birdsfoot Trefoil and Salad-burnet have become well established. These will start flowering in the next couple of months, providing a diverse wildlife habitat and should also look very attractive.
Cornfield annuals including Cornflower, Corn chamomile and Corncockle will then reappear to flower later in the Summer.
If you would be interested in joining the volunteers, please see their website www.eucan.org.uk