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You might soon spot blue hearts around the village

One of our founding trustees, Sam Rogers, was laid to rest today and, as her tribute page states, she is keen to support LANCE Trust projects through donations gifted in her memory, if so desired. Sam was a much-loved and inspirational member of the LANCE Trust and it’s wonderful to see the ragged robin plants, some of which she grew from seed, thriving on Lark Meadow this month.

Sam was a passionate and expert gardener and herbalist who was keen to boost biodiversity within every garden and allotment. Dedicated to stopping and reversing the decline of wildlife habitats and species, one of our forthcoming projects is designed to build on the foundations laid by the previous Long Ashton Parish Council with their Biodiversity: Every Garden Counts initiative.

This initiative has recently been cemented into future policy within the parish by the statutory obligation laid out by the government for local authorities to adopt as part of the wider Landscape Nature Recovery Strategy. Long Ashton’s Biodiversity Action Plan can be found here.

One of the ways to turn words into climate action in Long Ashton is to ‘borrow’ a project from South Gloucestershire known as the Blue Heart Project.

The blue heart campaign

An eye-catching and simple blue heart erected on a wooden post indicates that actions have been taken in that area to support nature. The blue heart acts as a signpost and has been shown to mitigate any complaints regarding perceived neglect of verges, other public areas or front gardens.

Once one blue heart appears, others often follow. In this way, slowly but surely, more plants are left for caterpillars to feed on, insects to hibernate in, and for native plants and fungi to grow among. Leaf litter under hedges, log piles and garden ‘waste’ stacked into a quiet corner all make perfect habitats for insects, beetles and small mammals including hedgehogs. These actions earn a blue heart.

Sam and the blue hearts campaign in Long Ashton

To introduce the blue heart campaign into Long Ashton, Sam’s family is leading the way with a blue heart on her coffin, together with a bunch of wild flowers to celebrate a life albeit tragically cut short but well-lived for people and wildlife alike. 

In the coming weeks, the LANCE Trust has more blue hearts (decorated by the 2nd Long Ashton Brownies) to pop into places such as Peel Park, Lark Meadow, Keeds Lane, Northleaze school and other front gardens we know that are particularly wildlife friendly.

Perhaps in time, and with due permission, we could create a Blue Heart Trail on an interactive map of the village so people can enjoy seeing how others are encouraging wildlife into our village.  

Raising awareness and joy in wildlife were important to Sam and the LANCE Trust is keen to keep this as a priority in our work.

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