We had a good poke around at Berrybanks today and formulated a plan.
The wild strawberry plants are doing ok but the kidney vetch is looking like it is struggling a bit. The sow thistle is rampant but there is a mass of other wild flowers under it. Nothing is growing on the base of the cutting due to the heavy layer of chippings.
The plan that we devised is this:
We are going to rake off the chippings and sow a limestone meadow seed mix. This will be 80% grass and 20% flowers. We will also seed with yellow rattle to keep the grass under control. We can add cornflower seeds to get a blast of colour whilst waiting for the meadow seed mix to become established.
We are going to stake out meter-wide strips going up the bank and plant with kidney vetch. We will weed out anything else that grows within the strip. This should really help the kidney vetch to get established and will eventually attract the endangered small blue butterfly.
We are going to cut back the first line of trees between the cleared area and the underpass. This should help the path to stay dry on wetter days, because it will get rid of the overhang that stops the ground from drying out, and give a wider path to walk on.
That is about it for this area, so a lot of our efforts will be focused here in the autumn. If we can successfully create a wild flower meadow the importance of this part of the greenway will skyrocket.
Next week we are at The Bear bridge clearing up all the litter and rubbish down there.
Well done Mick, Aaron and me on a very productive day.