Darlington council, ecology officer visit
Rob visited several wildflower meadow sites and took Catherine Boyle from MEC and Michelle Johnston from Coast & Country housing along as well. Darlo council has over 3 years experience in planting meadows, and we saw several examples of different sites.
1 where there had been a survey in the 70’s with lots of wildflower varieties. This site was allowed to grow naturally without being cut every couple of weeks as normal. 50% of local varieties came up!
2. This site was sprayed off and then re-seeded with a grass/wildflower mix. The meadow was only cut once. Brown unsightly docks that came through were sprayed again. Sheep can be used to keep grass down. Farmers often used as contractors as grass has to be collected.
3. Beck area with houses close by. A large amenity area for playing football etc and a windy wildflower area, with a desire line by the beck. Got a lot of initial criticism but now neighbours very happy.
4. Area near nature reserve that extended the wildlife corridor. Areas for football, dog walking, had desire line paths and amenity stripes near roads so it looks cared for.
We really enjoyed the visit and learnt a lot!