Do you know of a flower-rich patch?
Do you live near or know about a steep bank or forgotten place that bursts to life each year as wildflowers come into bloom? If you do, the North Pennines AONB Partnership would like to hear from you.
Looking after the flowers we still have
Places that are rich with wildflowers are sadly now scarce in the countryside so those that remain are all the more precious. One of the aims of the North Pennines AONB Partnership’s Heritage Lottery Fund supported Nectarworks project, which was launched in 2013, is to locate and survey the last surviving patches of truly flower-rich vegetation.
Often these are on steep-sided banks or in wet, inaccessible corners of fields. Though small, these areas are of vital importance. Not only are they a refuge for a host of wildflowers but they support many small but fascinating creatures like grasshoppers, butterflies and bumblebees.
Creating a vibrant network for pollinators
Together, these small patches make up a vibrant network across the landscape and are likely to be responsible for the continued survival in the North Pennines of wildlife that has disappeared elsewhere in the country like the rare moss carder bee.
The AONB Partnership’s Nectarworks Project Officer, Ruth Starr-Keddle, has the task of visiting and surveying flower-rich grasslands during June and July each year. She is keen to learn about new sites so that she can add them to her survey list.
Exploring scarce habitats
“I get very excited at this time of year” said Ruth “I have already surveyed some incredibly flower-rich places and never know what I am going to find. I feel privileged to have the chance to explore these habitats which are sadly now so scarce. We are keen to know where these places are so that they can be properly surveyed and mapped”.
Working closely with farmers, Natural England, and a team of specialist agricultural contractors, Ruth’s surveys enable her to identify flower-rich sites which may be suitable to have seed harvested from for use in restoring nearby sites.
Increase our plant population
She added “It’s quite hard work climbing up and down some of the sites I visit but every step is worth it if we can improve the recognition of these places and start to see the populations of the plants increasing.”
If you know of a wildflower-rich bank or other flowery place, the North Pennines AONB Partnership would be pleased to hear from you. Please contact Ruth Starr-Keddle on 01388 528801 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Released: 11 June 2014