Friday, 19 April 2019

Snakes alive! Wildflower bed aims to improve biodiversity

Snakes alive! Wildflower bed aims to improve biodiversity

AN experiment being carried out to increase biodiversity could encourage frogs, toads and snakes to Freemans Meadow in Henley.

The Friends of Freemans Meadow are working with the town council’s park services team on the initiative.

They have dug a 10m by 1m strip of land by the boundary wall in order to plant wildflower seeds. When the plants are established, it is hoped the area will be come a habitat for wildlife including amphibians and small mammals such as hedgehogs, voles and shrews as well as insects.

Peter Lloyd, chairman of the group, said: “It is quite difficult to establish wildflower meadows. This is a relatively small area and we have to see if the flowers will do well and not get smothered by weeds.  If it works, we could extend, possibly along the rest of the wall. It is all just part of the enhancement of Freemans Meadow.”

Ilona Livarski, the council’s conservation warden, said: “We have to rake it all and then leave it for a couple of weeks to see if any dormant weeds have come up.

“Then we remove the weeds and sow the seeds and give them a good watering before letting them grow for the summer. We’ll see what happens. If the insects and bees come to this patch then maybe the birds will, too. It’s about increasing biodiversity. I think it is quite a nice area.”

Mr Lloyd added: “This will also make it more attractive to residents of Henley and people coming to use the park.”

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