In our continuing work with landowners in Long Ashton and the surrounding Parishes, there is nothing so obvious to demonstrate progress on enriching our natural habitats as new wildflower meadows. We're celebrating these habitats on June 31st - Plantlife's 'National Meadows Day'.
Long Ashton has really stepped up this year.!There are wildflowers and wildflower meadows that stretch for acres as at Fenswood Farm; are contained to a strip of land (Peel Park and Northleaze School); take up a small area in a church yard; or belong to the gardens of residents in our community in the ‘Every Garden Counts’ initiative.
LANCE Trust, and the meadows we've created, have recently been recognised with a Bee Bold Award, by the West of England Authority. The award is a reflection of the work done by our team, volunteers and everyone in the community who has made an effort to find space for bees and other pollinators attracted by wildflowers. These flowers even include 'weeds' such as nettles, thistles and teasels: long thought of as flowers, but in the wrong place. Maybe we are beginning to think that there is, and should be, room for all ‘flowers’ in our gardens.
We know now that diversity in habitats is important to support the rich variety of species that are vital to life on earth. We have been surveying various areas around the parish and have recorded not only a large number of species - some rare and not seen in our area for some years - but a noticeable increase in numbers of butterflies in those areas with more wildflowers.
If you would like to be involved in planting or managing our increasing number of wildflower meadows. or in joining in in some of our surveying projects, you can join us as a volunteer. This year we will be carrying out bat, butterfly, river quality, river insects, mammal and bird surveys. Please let us know which you might be interested in. If being outdoors and working with a small group of likeminded people is not your thing, please consider supporting our work with a small donation.