Just under 6,500 wildflower plants have now been planted this year by enthusiastic volunteers at Hay Bridge Nature Reserve as part of the Magical Meadows project. The project is being delivered by Cumbria Wildlife Trust and local volunteers who together are working to boost the number of flowers in four of the meadows at Hay Bridge Nature Reserve.
26 volunteers with the help of Kendal Conservation Volunteers and Rusland Horizons apprentices planted out iconic meadow species such as great burnet, wood crane’s-bill and lady’s mantle to enhance the wildflowers meadows, which have been in serious decline nationally since 1950’s. The flowers were planted in clusters to aid pollination whilst also providing a food source for insects which are dependent on nectar and pollen.
Children from local schools have taken part in wildflower workshops and helped with the wildflower planting hopefully increasing their appreciation, enjoyment and understanding of hay meadows.
Two scything workshops have also been held during the summer, these one day courses provided volunteers with practical scything skills for the management of grasslands.
Planting in the autumn will allow time for the roots to establish over winter giving them a greater chance of competing with the existing sward in Spring. The fields will then be managed as traditional hay meadows with the late summer hay-cut allowing the flowers to set their seeds and increase in number and diversity over time.