Wildflower Planting

In the Autumn of 2003 we started our planting sessions; using £200 from our funds we bought a range of wildflower bulbs and plants to plant some trial areas in the Fields. We started by planting about 200 bluebells near to the Bridge in Bridge Street, then crossed the Finham Brook to another site where we planted about 200 anemone bulbs and a number of wildflowers including primroses, celandine and lords and ladies.We then moved to the northern end of the lake planting a grassy bank with wood cranesbill, yellow archangel, white deadnettle, lesser celandine, red campion, common violet, ox-eye daisies, cowslips and scabious. Our plan was to increase the range and quantity of wildflowers in Abbey Fields to improve the habitat for wildlife and to make the Fields more attractive.

Not satisfied with this the following spring we bought 300 wild flower plug plants and nurtured them until they were ready for planting in October 2004. We did it in two planting sessions firstly alongside the new hedge (see hedge sapling planting) which runs towards Forrest Road/Castle Road, and secondly on the banks of the lake on the High Street side. These plants included ox eye daisy, greater knapweed, self heal, white and red campion, foxglove, betony, field scabious, musk mallow and primrose. In the spring of that year we had also planted some donated cowslips among the rough grass under the trees going up the slope to High Street.

In 2005 we purchased 100 native primroses which were planted on the banks of the stream in the bare ground under the trees. Unfortunately not many of these plants survived.

In the following years we cleared areas of brambles and spread wildflower seeds but with little success. However in 2009 we did plant an area at the Ford End of the Lake with Snakeshead Fritilaries. These were donated by Sarah Elliston in memory of her parents Audrey and Brian Knapp. They do show a lovely display every spring.