For the last few months, The Boxted Biodiversity and Sustainability group have been busy enhancing the Village Green (the green area in front of the Hill Farm development at Boxted Cross), in order to provide a rich environment for all manner of fauna and flora to flourish but also to make it a beautiful spot for all to visit and enjoy a more naturalised landscape.
The working group has defined two areas within the green for wildflower planting – either side of the green’s main central circular bench which surrounds the oak tree. The remainder of the grass is being maintained as conventional mown grassland which is suitable for walking, dog walking, picnics, and general use by the public.
Before Christmas, 2000+ spring bulbs were planted along the hedgerows, under the recently planted lime and heritage apple trees and in the wildflower areas.
The group’s aim is to plant a rich assortment of native species to enhance the environment in which wildlife can prosper and thrive, but following in the footsteps of Great Dixter and other contemporary renowned meadow makers, non-native crocuses were planted to create a jewelled lawn in the very early spring (and thus providing some welcome nectar for any early emerging hibernating bees) and camassia bulbs with their starry blue flowers, in the early summer.
Inspired by Mr. Reese’s spectacular bank of daffodils a little further along at the top of Carter’s Hill, many varieties of daffodil bulbs were chosen to give a succession of blooms from February through to April. Other spring bulbs planted include snowdrops, bluebells and snakehead fritillaries.
As the season progresses, the wildflowers will start to bloom. Already, along the hedgerows the primroses have begun to flower and within the central wildflower areas, spring flowering wood anemones, cowslips and oxlips have been planted and cuckoo flower seeds scattered.
Last weekend, volunteers, planted a hundred native hedging plants to ameliorate the existing hedgerows that had become sparse and neglected over the years and for additional screening that was originally planned for but never implemented. Species include blackthorn, holly, hawthorn, cherry plum, dog wood, alder, spindle, guelder rose and hazel together with a selection of wild roses.
Also planted on the green side of the hedgerow are a couple of damson bushes in homage to the damsons planted by the Women’s Land Army in Boxted during WW2 of which very few now exist in the village.
The group’s next focus is on adding summer and autumn colour and habitats to the wildflower zones with native planting. In the autumn, the original grassland was scarified and yellow rattle seed scattered to weaken the grass and prevent it smothering any newly planted wildflowers.
if you wish to express any interest in, or comment on these activities, please feel free to contact the Clerk to Boxted Parish Council or Councillor Jonathan Hunt on the email addresses below.
BPC Clerk firstname.lastname@example.org
Cllr. Jonathan Hunt email@example.com