Wildflower Area – Sivell Close

Works soon to commence on the open space on Sivell Close to improve the wildflower area. All local councils have a duty to conserve biodiversity when managing its open spaces and coupled with Longford Parish Council’s wish to create a memorial area for the Covid-19 pandemic, the Council decided to create a wildflower area on the open space at Sivell Close.

For the first year (2022), we followed advice from Plantlife which was to allow the grass to grow and determine what species of plants already grow in that area and then enhance as needed. 

Whilst flowering grasses and teasels may not be visually pleasing to humans, they are of value to the wildlife; insects enjoy the grasses which encourages birds to visit the area.  Amongst the flowering grasses, we identified the following plants: 

ButtercupsGood for pollinators
Common DaisyA healing plant
Purple CloverProvide food for bees
White CloverProvide food for bees
MallowAll parts of the Mallow are edible
DandelionsA healing plant, and provide food for bees, help to aerate soil
Pyramidal OrchidProvides food for butterflies and moths
NettlesValuable food plant for British butterflies and have several herbal uses
Forget-me-notA healing plant, attracts bees and butterflies
TeaselsThe seedheads are loved by goldfinches and other birds

However, the Council understands that some residents would prefer to see more colour in the wildflower area.  We are fortunate to have now received grant-funding from the County Council to enhance the wildflower area at Sivell Close. 

Following guidelines for creating a new wildflower area, our contractor will take some of the surface back to bare earth, this will take place in the coming weeks.  A wildflower seed mix will be distributed over the bare earth, this will hopefully be an event where volunteers can take part if they wish.  Then the land will be rolled flat.  The grasses will start to grow within 2-3 weeks so that we aren’t left with the bare earth for long.

We are also planting a horse chestnut tree towards the road side of the open space along with some spring bulbs.  We will maintain a 1 metre mown border around the perimeter of the open space to reduce the impact on neighbouring properties.  There is an existing Silver Birch about 1 metre in from the left hand boundary, which will have snowdrops and crocuses planted around it as will the horse chestnut tree.

We are aiming to have as long a flowering season as possible, and we have chosen the same seed mix as that used on Plock Court.  However, at the end of the flowering season the dying plants remain in place for a few weeks which won’t look as attractive, but this is to allow the seeds to drop onto the ground.  The area is then mown short, and the cuttings removed.  Please see the diagram below for more information.

Plan of the proposed wildflower area