Charnwood Wildflowers, Braddon Road

Charnwood Borough Council
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Charnwood Borough Council | 2021 | Charnwood

Charnwood Wildflowers

Grassland near the Braddon Road housing estate in Charnwood will soon become vibrant and full of wildlife thanks to the donation of hay from two nearby areas.

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The grassland at Braddon Road has always been cut back to serve as a useful pathway for walkers and residents close to the Black Brook River. However, the site was recently recognised as having more potential than this. A local councillor for Loughborough proposed that the site should become a wildflower area, serving both the local community and nature, as wildflowers help to attract a range of insects, birds and mammals into the area.

About the project

Trees, brambles, a playground and a pathway all make up the area; so, to determine how successful it will be to transform it, an area of 25m² was selected to become a test site by the local council and idverde. Meanwhile, two local areas, Humphrey Close and Stonebow Washlands were chosen as donor sites due to the abundance of grass and flower species that can be found there. Hay from both sites (including various pollinators, such as Knapweed, Marsh Marigold and Creeping Buttercup) is to be transferred to the test site at Braddon Road, where the freshly cut flowers and grasses can slowly drop their seeds. Over time, they will populate the area, bringing biodiversity and new wildlife.

The project began in 2021, as rangers from idverde and Green Gym volunteers cut a total of 30m² of hay using power scythes from the donor sites. This was then transferred and spread to the test site, with help from volunteers from the Dishley Residents Association. Rather than using intensive techniques, such as using various machinery, which is both expensive and damaging to the land, the local council and idverde chose a much more natural approach to creating a wildflower meadow. This approach was more cost-effective and more importantly, kinder to the land.

The Result

Now that the seeds are positioned at Braddon Road, idverde rangers and Green Gym volunteers will continue to cut and clear the area each year to support the growth of the wildflowers. If successful it is hoped that the wildflower area will spread right across the Braddon Road area, transforming it from a green grassland with a convenient pathway to a vibrant space, enjoyed by the local community and wildlife.