You may recall that we met with the Wickford Wildlife Society to discuss plans for the new Beauchamps Field Nature Reserve.
We had an article on Birds and Buttlerflies (25 May 2021)
This is an article on Wildflowers for the Beauchamps Field nature Reserve.
They will be different from the existing Wildflower Area as they will be more sustainable and native.
Wickford Wildlife Society:
Members of the Friends of the Wickford Memorial Park and of Wickford Wildlife Society met on site recently at the new Beauchamps Field Nature Reserve extension, to discuss plans for the future with Basildon Council. As well as the already planted new Woodland, there are plans for a Community Orchard and a Wild Flower Meadow, and it’s the Wild Flower Meadow that I want to write about here.
In the Memorial Park there is an area, sown with colourful flowers for pollinating insects. Many of these flowers, although very good for insects, are not native, so wouldn’t fit into the British Wild Flower Meadow description. The best plants for the new Meadow are ones that grow locally, so are adapted to grow and thrive in our Essex soil. Some of them, for example Bristly Oxtongue with bright yellow flowers, you would probably call a weed if you found it growing in your garden! After all, a weed is only a plant which is growing where it isn’t wanted. Beautiful native plants like Scarlet Pimpernel you might also call a weed if you didn’t want it in your garden.
We will be discussing which plant species will be the best for the Meadow area, not only for insects but also for birds, who may feed on the insects or on the seeds of the plants. It is quite likely that ant colonies will form, which will be food for the lovely Green Woodpecker, and maybe voles and other small rodents will come in, which will attract some birds, like Owls and Kestrels. In time, it’s also possible that lovely Orchids, like Bee and Pyramidal Orchids, may appear, as they have alongside many Essex roadsides.
So the future of Beauchamps Field Nature Reserve is looking very bright indeed!
By Barbara Chapman (expert on Wildflowers)