In spring, Northleaze Primary School approached LANCE for some help creating a mini meadow on the school field.
The plan was to cultivate an area, with a variety of meadow wildflowers and grasses, so that the children can keep track of the amazing insects and birds it will hopefully attract.
The pupils at Northleaze have been incredibly enthusiastic, excited and engaged whenever LANCE have come to the school to work on the meadow.
For quick results, we suggested a mix of annual cornfield flowers would be ideal. Corn poppies, corn flowers, corn marigold, corn chamomile and ox eye daisies were purchased and the wonderful Clare Orr, a professional gardener in Long Ashton known to many, expertly stripped off turf to create a 9 sq metre patch of bare earth.
The spare turf, along with their worms, were lovingly placed by children of various ages to make a beetle bank alongside the potential meadow.
On the initial day of seed sowing, we were met with a surprise hailstorm that made an already-excited bunch of children even more giddy! Read more about the meadow sowing day here.
Back at the school in autumn, "This is a world of wonder" exclaimed one pupil, as we lifted up a tarpaulin to reveal a host of earthworms. "It it's good for bees, then it's alright with me" said another with great enthusiasm as they planted a teasel.
The wildlife-friendly areas within the playground at Northleaze School are going down well with the pupils who are involved with the projects and we've certainly involved many of them at different stages. The seeds planted in the hailstorm bloomed magnificently with cornflowers and ox-eye daisies looking magnificent all summer long. Other beds have been planted with perennial, biennial and self seeding wild flowers such as mullein, angelica, marjoram, self heal, lemon balm, red campion and foxgloves to name a few. Work has begun on a second, large bed for another display of cornfield annuals next year and we're looking forward to joining in Plantlife's Every Flower Counts initiative next year to see how much pollen has been provided for local pollinators.
If you want to know more about how LANCE works with local schools, or you have a group of willing junior volunteers, get in touch!