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Wildflower Site Survey

“Highworth Town Council is looking to extend the Wildflower Pilot Project as a Community, Town Council, Partnership initiative, to enhance and add splashes of colour as you move around the Town, whilst creating a natural habitat for wildlife such as bees and insects.
Please take a moment to look at the proposed sites before completing the short survey. Click here to see a PDF of the site locations.
 

Wildflower Feasibility Group

The Committee consists of the following Councillors in conjunction with Highworth Town Council Grounds Team:

  • (Mrs) L Vardy
  • K Saunders
  • R Williams
  • G Evans

Terms of Reference:
To set up a Working Party to assess areas for the planting of wildflowers. Councillors agreed to set up a Working Party to explore the viability of creating some areas for wildflower planting in the Town.

The project so far:

The project was slow, to get off the ground as the decision to go ahead with the pilot plots wasn’t made until mid-November 2019. The wet winter and early spring create logistical issues in digging out the beds, which meant they were not ready for sowing until early March 2020.

Over the winter research was carried out on potential seed mixes and a kilogram of Plant life’s Cornfield jewels mix was purchased. Sowing took place during the early weeks of March 2020. Whilst the rains had stopped the winds had increased and it was problematic to find calm enough days to sow the plots.

With lockdown and the long spell of dry weather seed germination was slow, but after a slow start the beds have forged ahead and having been providing and increasingly spectacular displays over recent months and are still going from strength to strength.

The turf & earth removed from the Fair view beds was piled along the side of the beds furthest from the bungalows, to provide habitat for burrowing insects such as solitary bees. This was also done to discourage some of the residents and their visitors who drive all over the grass at Fair View from driving over the flower beds.

The beds have been positively received by both residents of Fair View & Park Avenue and the general population of Highworth as a whole. No direct complaints have been received.

Understandably there were one or two on the social media pages whilst the seed was stablishing itself but these comments received short shrift from other users of the sites.

Lessons have been learnt and if we are to proceed we really need to sow in the autumn to give the seeds the best start.

Maintenance of the proposed wildflower sites

Councillors hoped this would very much be a joint Community/HTC project. The maintenance on these sites is minimal and consists of sowing the seeds, mowing them down once they have gone over and the removal of the plants a week later. It is the preparation of the plots that takes time and manpower. The Working Party are happy to continue to do this and have asked for support from the Grounds Team when the time comes to mow down the plants and remove.

When preparing the plots there will be excess topsoil that can be transported to Pentylands County Park and used as infill around hedgerows. Assistance with the tipper may be required depending on the size of the plot. Paul Tilling advised the mound of topsoil that was left at the plot at Fairview was not only an eyesore but made mowing the rest of the area more difficult.

The Town Clerk advised HTC could look at hiring in help if required.

Recommended Wildflower Sites

The Wildflower Group surveyed sites around the Town and the following slides show the sites recommended to be converted into Wildflower plots. If the Environment & Leisure Full Council give approval to the sites selected, the Wildflower Group will start work on preparing the plots as soon as is practicably possible and once any permissions required have been sought.

Cricklade Road

St Michaels Ave

Triangle area in Windrush, next to bottom entrance to Pentylands

Grassed bank next to Goldfinger Pub

St Michaels Avenue