Posts Tagged ‘wildflower meadow’

Why not play your part in increasing and preserving our beautiful wildflowers by joining The Recycleworks Wildflower Seed Project 3013/2014.
Schools or Community Associations that support children can register FREE and they will receive 5 Seed Collecting Tins to store their valuable seed until the spring followed by instructions of how to sow and grow their wildflower seeds.
                  Seed storage tins
This year, while stocks last, we are giving away to each new member of The Recycleworks Wildflower Seed Project 2013/2014 a beautifully illustrated guide to ‘Collecting and Propagating Seed of Hay Meadow Flowers’ which has been produced by The Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, who through their Hay Time Project work with farmers and landowners to restore meadows in the Yorkshire Dales and Forest of Bowland that have lost some of their wildlife value using seed harvested from nearby species-rich donor meadows, they involve volunteers in their work and provide educational opportunities for schools and the public. The full colour guide shows hay meadow plants in flower, their seed heads/pods and their seed as well as information on seed collecting, storage and propagation.
Hay Meadow seed saving brochure0001

Collecting seeds is a wonderful thing to do with children, they will learn where seeds come from, and not only be rewarded with free seeds but also lots of free plants in spring and with the satisfaction that they have grown them themselves from ‘their’ seed.

Some of the most rewarding and valuable seeds to collect are from Wildflowers and Nectar Rich plants which provide food for our bees, butterflies and pollinating insects, by growing these you will be giving back to nature and enriching your environment.
Here are some of the many plants that are beneficial to insects: Buddleia, Ox Eye Daisy, Borage, Verbena Bonariensis, Evening Primrose, Calendula, French Marigold, Teasel, Thistles, Foxglove, Cornflower.

Ox Eye Daisy

Where to look for seeds
The best places to find wildflowers are in uncultivated areas such as on grass verges, under hedges, on the edges of parks/playing fields (where the grass cutters can’t reach), church yards and meadows. Nectar rich flowers can usually be found in gardens. You may need to ask the landowners permission before entering their land to collect seed.
How to collect seed
You will need paper bags or envelopes, scissors and a pencil.
Some seed heads will shed their seeds very easily, simply empty their contents into your bag, or cut off the ripe seed head/pod and place in your bag then write the plant name on the bag, the date, the place and also where it was growing in sun/shade or in dry/wet soil this will help you when you grow your new plants next year. If some of the seed heads/pods are damp, lay them out on paper to dry before removing the seeds. If you are not sure of the name of the plant cut off the seed head/pods and a leaf or take a photograph so that you can identify it later.

Evening Primrose

Storing your seed
Some of the seeds will need to be cleaned by removing the husk and extracting the seeds from their pods/seed heads as these may contain small insects too. Place your dry seeds in a cold, dry and dark place until February/March. This can be in a container in the fridge so that they go through the natural cold winter conditions. It can be in a sealed tin (which will protect them from insects and animals) in the shed, but dry, cold and dark is important. If they get wet or warm they may start germinating and if it is too early for spring they will not survive.
Some seeds can be toxic, take care when collecting seed and always wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
Make the most of the warm Autumn days and collect some wildflower seeds.

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Finally, (dare I say it), summer is here and what a difference it makes to everything in the garden as well as to ourselves, we definitely all feel better and happier and just in time for the school holidays and of course the Olympic Games too. Whilst we have this warm weather we should get out, explore and enjoy our environment. 


The walk to Ingleborough Caves

Next week 30th July – 5th August is National Parks Week, why not visit one of the 15 National Parks in the UK, there are:

  • 10 in England – The Broads, Dartmoor, Exmoor, the Lake District, the New Forest, Northumberland, the North York Moors, the Peak District, the South Downs and the Yorkshire Dales
  • 2 in Scotland – Cairngorms and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs
  • 3 in Wales – the Brecon Beacons, Pembrokeshire Coast and Snowdonia

they are areas of protected countryside that everyone can visit, with four main types of habitat:

  • Moorlands,
  • Woodlands and Forests,
  • Wetlands, Lakes and Rivers
  • Meadows and Grasslands.

Visiting a National Park can be as energetic or as relaxing as you want with endless activities to choose from: Walking, Hiking, Dog Walking, Cycling, Mountain Biking, Horse Riding, Water Sports and Boat Rides and even Hot Air Ballooning, have a look at the National Parks website for more details of which parks support these activities.

Little Egrets

Don’t forget the Wildlife! National Parks are teeming with animals, birds and insects and some rare ones too including Red Squirrel, Otter, Water Vole, Osprey, Bittern and the Swallowtail Butterfly (which only lives in the Broads), take your binoculars and your wildlife diary with you and see what you can spot.

Wildflower meadow

National Parks are also host to some spectacular and rare wildflowers, some of which can only be found in the National Parks, such as the Snowdon Lily in Snowdonia and the English Sandwort in the Yorkshire Dales, take your camera with you to record our stunning native wildflowers.

Whether you are at home or on holiday make a visit to a National Park near you, there are lots of things to do as well as organised events throughout the summer.

Love your environment


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