Mud bank to wildflower haven!

My neighbours have recently purchased the field next to their house. Previously, it had always just been kept as grass, with an annual mow for hay. They are going to build a small stable block and menage, so had started work by digging out a tremendous amount of soil to level the ground and take the field ground level down to the height of their back door. This has created a huge open space and a bank that leads back up to the field.

When I saw the works last week and got talking to my neighbour, I suggested turning the area into a wild flower haven and I sent them the details of two companies I have worked with before… Habitat Aid, from whom I have purchased wild flower seeds and plugs and WildFlower Turf, from whom I purchased my turf from last year.

This turf has a fantastic array of native wildflower species already established within the turf:

Autumn Hawkbit (Scorzoneroides autumnalis) Betony (Stachys officinalis) Birdsfoot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)
Bladder Campion (Silene vulgaris) Cats Ear (Hypochaeris radicata) Common Knapweed (Centaurea nigra)
Common Sorrel (Rumex acetosa) Common Vetch (Vicia sativa ssp. segetalis) Common Toadflax (Linaria vulgaris)
Cowslip (Primula veris) Field Scabious (Knautia arvensis) Greater Hawkbit (Leontodon hispidus)
Lady’s Bedstraw (Galium verum) Meadow Buttercup (Ranunculus acris) Meadow Cranesbill (Geranium pratense)
Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) Musk Mallow (Malva moschata) Ox Eye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)
Perforate St Johns Wort (Hypericum perforatum) Ragged Robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi) Red Campion (Silene dioica)
Ribwort Plantain (Plantago lanceolata) Salad Burnet (Sanguisorba minor) Self-heal (Prunella vulgaris)
Tufted Vetch (Vicia cracca) Wild Carrot (Daucus carota) Wild Marjoram (Origanum vulgare)
Wild Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) White Campion (Silene latifolia) Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Yellow Rattle (Rhinanthus minor)

After some discussion, we decided the turf option was the way to go, as it can be pegged onto the slope for an instant transformation! Easy to maintain, it just needs and annual strim! It will be great for wildlife, great for me (to follow and photograph the transformation) and great for my neighbours too!

I took some pictures this morning to show how grim the area looks at present! Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 22.20.42 Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 22.20.53 Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 22.21.04It will be a fantastic project to follow and I will be blogging about how it all progresses over the coming months…. so watch this space!