The Bee Cause in our Eco Garden
This week, Class 6 finished sowing a wildflower meadow in the Eco-Garden.
In a joint venture with Friends of the Earth who, as part of their 'The Bee Cause' campaign, donated the seeds, we hope to achieve a colourful, buzzing meadow next summer. Due to the rapidly declining numbers of bees, FoE are encouraging individuals and organisations to create wildflower meadows on their land to provide our bees with much-needed nectar and pollen.
Throughout September, Class 6 have been busy digging over the ground, raking it into a fine tilth, and sowing the seeds. Class 5 ably assisted with a bit of digging of their own too.
At the beginning of the month our indomitable parent, James Hobbs, organised the hire of a turf cutter and with his son Finbar, came in on a Saturday, and removed the turf in preparation for the work. James reported that "Although we both discovered muscles we did not know we had... it was good to do something to directly help biodiversity." A thousand thanks to both of you!
The stripped turf was taken by Class 6 to the fence along the old railway track in wheelbarrow convoys, and deposited alongside the ditch. Hopefully the resulting dyke will prevent the worst of the winter flooding in the Eco Garden.
This project represents the culmination of two years of attempting to create a wildflower meadow. We began with the current Class 9, then Class 7, who prepared and sowed their own 'mini-meadows' in a different spot. These turned into 'mini-ponds' in the winter...which drowned the seeds, but created wonderful spawning grounds for frogs in the spring!
Last year, the new site was prepared by the current Class 7 and Friends of the Earth sent more seeds, but there was a last-minute glitch in getting the turf-cuttter.
So this year things seem to have come together. Friends of the Earth were able to supply seeds tailored to our soil type. Wildflowers are known to dislike fertile soils, so we are keeping our fingers crossed that the especially poor soil in our Eco Garden will allow them to flourish! We, and the bees of Dorset wait with bated breath...!