On Saturday 22nd October, volunteers joined Urban Ranger, Debbie Wallace, to sow wildflower seeds into the two spring bulb areas on Darley Avenue. Local residents, families, and our three Chorlton Park ward Councillors all got stuck in to preparing the ground for seeding.
The ground was scarified to create some bare soil before the seeds were sown, to allow the seeds to germinate without too much competition from the surrounding grass. The grass will re-grow next spring to cover the ground again. Scarifying is hard work and everyone involved certainly got a good workout! Once the ground was prepared, everyone helped to sow the seeds and trample them into the ground. In a traditional hay meadow, grazing animals, such as cattle would do the job of trampling the seeds but as there weren't any, our younger helpers enjoyed pretending to be a herd of cows and taking on this task!
The bulb areas where the new seeds were sown already provide a regular display of lovely flowers in the spring. Bulbs such as Crocus flower as early as February and provide an important source of food for Queen Bumblebees when they emerge from hibernation.
Later in the year, the long grass in these areas provides a habitat for Grasshoppers to live during the summer, and places for other invertebrates to feed and shelter.
If you’d like to get involved in volunteering, there will be opportunities to do so in 2023 such as:
- Collecting wildflower seeds in the summer months
- Learning how to scythe to cut the meadow plots at the end of August
- Having a go at scarifying and seed sowing yourself, at the end of October
If you’re a member of the local community and you’re interested in any of the above volunteering activities, please email Urban Ranger, Debbie Wallace at d.Wallace@southwayhousing.co.uk.