A steady stream of good news stories are beginning to emerge from across the village – thank you so much to everyone who has been in touch.
Each month we’d like to share a few of these with you. No matter how big, or small, every effort is valuable and together, we can make a real difference to protecting, enhancing and celebrating our amazing local wildlife and nature.
The Strand– Sally has been a nature enthusiast for years and is wonderfully creative when it comes to supporting wildlife and nature. She works two half allotments in the village with nature in mind. She never uses chemicals and is happy with ‘untidy’ – allowing the grass to remain uncut in the spring. Sally has put up robin nest pouches, an insect hotel, and grows flowers and green manure crops like phacelia specifically to attract pollinators. Closer to home, she keeps overlarge shrubs outside her window for sparrows to shelter in and keeps a welcoming bird feeding and birdbath area.
High Wotton– Judy tells us she has an ‘intrinsic disregard for tidying up’! A sure sign of a true nature lover! Knowing that nature and wildlife flourishes when its left to its own devices, Judy ensures she leaves plenty of decaying organic matter lying around in the garden and, over the past few years, has started to leave her orchard grass to grow all summer. She’s been delighted to see that this has led to lots more wildflowers naturalising and has attracted larger numbers of bees and other pollinators. Her humble favourites that attract pollinators in the winter is the heavenly-scented honeysuckle shrub happily ensconced in her veg patch! In summer, it’s the cotoneaster horizontalis, which literally shimmers and buzzes with pollinators when its tiny cream flowers are in bloom. Judy tells us – ‘being so ordinary, it is truly extraordinary’.
Re-wilding at The Old Dairy– has begun in earnest with the planting of 150 hazel and hawthorn saplings. This will create a native hedgerow and small woodland area, providing a wildlife corridor and food and shelter throughout the year for birds, butterflies, bees. Vastly underestimating the sheer hard work required to plant so many bare root trees and hedging plants, Juls and Den enlisted support from the wonderful local community. Along with daughter, Ella, Steve Archer and Paul Burke gave up their Saturday afternoon, and together they managed to get them all planted! As Paul so eloquently put it “it feels amazing to create something that will outlive us all!”. They have been successful in securing 500 native trees through Devon Wildlife Trust’s ‘Saving Devon’s Treescapes’ scheme which will be planted later in the year. Anyone interested in helping to plant – please get in touch!
150 m2 of native wildflower and grass seed, including primulas, campion, foxgloves and cow parsley have also been planted along the sunny, sheltered bank to provide a rich, biodiverse area for the many insects, butterflies and bees.
Next to be created will be a large wildlife pond to attract an even greater diversity of wildlife, and amazingly House Martins are already eagerly swooping down to collect nesting material from the muddy puddle in the bottom! Any ‘pond experts’ with experience of creating a large wildlife pond please get in touch – Juls and Den would be grateful for any advice or help!
Keep your stories coming!…We’d love to hear more so please do send us a few details on our questionnaires which you can find either in the coloured boxes in the shop or church porch, or download it HERE.
Mary Truell & Rebecca Abrahams