• Ottery wildflower pilot verges … scarified and seeded

    19th November 2013 | News | Claire
  • The scheme is jointly run with Devon Wildlife Trust and Emily Stallworthy worked hard with me yesterday on preparing and seeding the verges.

    We had hoped that we could involve schoolchildren in the seeding but this wasn’t possible for insurance reasons.

    Last week DCC contractors gave the verges a very close cut, with an aim to scarifying them ready for seeding.

    Having seen the verges over the weekend I wasn’t sure that enough grass had been removed so we brought our rakes and forks with us, just in case.

    Dick Beardsall from West Hill Residents Association was a huge help with the largest verge, which is in West Hill, opposite the war memorial on the corner of School Land and West Hill Road.

    And Cllr Roger Giles (EDDC and Ottery St Mary Town Council) assisted with less strenuous task of seeding, as he was hampered by a bad back.

    We are hoping that the verges will flower for around four months from next May and will look beautiful as well as attracting more bees and butterflies, which are desperately needed for our dwindling eco-systems.

    The seed was sourced by Emily from Devon Wildlife Trust, and she has also advised on the most important aspect of preparing the verges, in order to give the flowers the best chance of success.

    After we had raked and removed as much grass as we could, we scattered the seed and stamped it in.

    Mike Brown, highways officer, kindly took away several bags of grass for us.

    The verges will now be deleted from the cutting schedule until the end of the flowering season, probably next September.

    A watching eye will be kept on them to ensure flowers don’t obscure highways visibility.

    Yellow rattle has been included with the seed mix to encourage the flowers to grow and discourage grass.

    If the scheme is deemed a success, it may be rolled out across the county.

    Here’s the press release that was issued last month – http://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/dcc_wildflower_verge_trial_launches_in_ottery_rural/

    Photograph:  Myself, Emily Stallworthy, Roger Giles and Dick Beardsall, seeding the verge yesterday at West Hill.