Update 1st November 2018
To date, a small number of sites across the Roseland have been identified to develop as mini meadows, to enhance the diversity of wild flowers and encourage our declining bees, butterflies and other important pollinating species. These sites are also an opportunity to show what can be done by everyone in their gardens to help.
Ruan Chapel Layby, Ruan Lanihorne
This site was the first to be developed and locally known as “the banana” because of its shape. Before anything could be done the ground needed to be prepared. The grass was cut very short several times and eventually rotovated. Once this had been done, yellow rattle and a wildflower seed mixture were sown. Yellow rattle is an annual semi parasitic plant which helps to suppress the growth of faster growing grasses. The yellow rattle did well and Cornwall Council Highways are particularly interested in this. We are now trialling bluebells, foxgloves, oxeye daisies and primroses there.
Gwarak Gwel an Mor, Gerrans
This is the largest site we are working on at the moment. Following a pilot project in 2017 when a small section of this steeply sloping grassland at the entrance to the road was sown with wild flower seeds we are now managing a much larger area.
In agreement with Cormac, contractors cut the site at the beginning of October 2018 and Cormac also provided a trailer of tools available for volunteers to use to help remove the cuttings and make a habitat pile. Removal is important to gradually reduce soil fertility and to open up space for any further sowing and for germination from the seed bank.
At the end of October 2018, volunteers returned to finish raking off the cuttings, plant flower plugs and sow wildflower seed mixtures. The seed mixture and plug plants were bought from recommended outlets. Also clumps of ox eye daisy were planted, these had come from volunteer’s gardens and yellow rattle seeds sown, these had been harvested from the site at Ruan Lanihorne. Sowing the seed in October should allow vernalisation over winter and encourage seed germination. It is hoped to sow more seed in the spring.