Solitary bee

Seal Parish Council has embarked on an exciting project to bring back wildflowers into our verges and public areas.

There will be an illustrated talk on Zoom on Wed 28th April 2021 from 7.30 – 8.30pm.

If you are interested in finding out more about wildflowers, pollinators and the project please email christavspc@btinternet.com so that you can receive an invitation.

In 2020 the Parish Council embarked on a programme to promote the growth of wildflowers in the Parish, with a subsequent improvement in habitats for pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Since the 1930s 97% of wildflower meadows have been lost due to changes in countryside and urban management. Many meadows were ploughed up after the Second World War to produce monocultures of cereals, with increasing use of herbicides. Others are fertilised and cut to provide winter feed for cattle. Wildflowers cannot compete with actively growing grasses.

Thus far the Parish Council have obtained two licences from Kent County Council so that we can maintain the banked verge at the village end of Childsbridge Lane and the verge opposite the White Rock Inn at Underriver. We have also started working on the triangle of grass below the playground on Seal Recreation Ground. You will shortly see signs going up on the three sites to limit cutting and give some information about what you might see at various times of year. We have also been in discussions with Sevenoaks District Council and the Kent Wildlife Trust regarding a couple of potential projects in Godden Green.

The aim is to restrict grass cutting to March and September each year, removing the cuttings to reduce the nutrient content of the soil to reduce grass growth and encourage that of wildflowers. The lower end of the triangle will need cutting more frequently for a year or two as the grass here is too long and dense for wildflowers to compete. We have added some native wildflower seeds to part of Childsbridge Lane verge and the recreation ground to increase the number of species thus extending the availability of nectar and pollen from early spring right through to the autumn.

We look forward to greeting Seal Parish and neighbouring residents who would like to learn something about local wildlife or hear more about the project, some of whom may like to volunteer in helping with the setting up and maintenance of these various wildflower areas. We would like to put together groups that would work in their local area such as the village of Seal, Stone Street, Godden Green or Underriver.

Lesser celandine on Childsbridge Lane
Lesser celandine on Childsbridge Lane
Southern cuckoo bumblebee on bramble on recreation ground
Southern cuckoo bumblebee on bramble on recreation ground
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