The Importance of your Gardens as Nature Reserves

Take a look at this 6 minute video by Chris Packham. See what a difference we could make in Orchard Park.

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Click the link below for the video:

http://bbc.in/1E4YYGM

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Grow Wild Seeds Planted Around Orchard Park

Starting off near Engledow Drive

Starting off near Engledow Drive

Preparing the soil for the seeds

Preparing the soil for the seeds

If you see these around Orchard Park, it's where we have planted native wildflower seeds.

If you see these around Orchard Park, it’s where we have planted native wildflower seeds.

A home for solitary bees

A home for solitary bees

This is where the bees go in. If you see a tube with a plug of vegetation or chewed leaves at the end, a bee has moved in.

This is where the bees go into the bee homes. If you see a tube with a plug of vegetation or chewed leaves at the end, a bee has moved in.

Many thanks to everyone who came along to help out with the planting yesterday.

We hope that the seeds will germinate under trees around Orchard Park to create mini meadows. The Grow Wild website says “There’s such a variety of life on earth and it’s all around us, even in towns and cities. It’s known as biodiversity and we can all work together to help it flourish in our neighbourhoods. Just by growing wild flowers in spaces where we live, we can increase wild plant diversity. And once the wild flowers are flourishing, they will attract lots of different creatures, bringing biodiversity right to your doorstep. The humblest wild flower spot can be a haven for wildlife – and by working together to maximise our impact, we can help our natural world.”

We hope we’ll get a bit of rain over the next few days to water the seeds we’ve planted. However if it is very dry we would be very grateful if you give the seeds a helping hand by providing a bit of water to them. If you do this please could you let us know at opwildlife@gmail.com – we can provide you with 2 for 1 tickets to Kew Gardens to say thanks you.

We’ve also placed 3 bee houses around Orchard Park – if you see that any of the tubes have vegetation or chewed leaves plugging the end, a solitary bee has probably moved in. The bees won’t have far to go to collect pollen and nectar with mini meadows nearby.

Flowers to the people

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OPWP has been provided with a number of Grow Wild seed kits

Grow Wild wants to engage as many people as possible and has thousands of seed kits available for youth and community groups. In 2015, they’re sending out 120,000. They contain: a getting started guide, five packets of our specially-selected UK native wild flowers, site markers, a DIY bee house and two-for-one entry vouchers for RBG Kew. The RBG Kew vouchers will be awarded to those who plant the most seeds.

Orchard Park’s Habitat Management Plan written for us by the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and Northamptonshire, recommends planting mini meadows under trees in Foxglove Way, Aster Way and Sweetpea Way, Engledow Drive so this is what we’ll use our seeds to do. After meeting at the Orchard Community Centre, Centre Drive,CB4 2EZ, we will move around these areas planting up the meadows. It would be great if you can join us, and please bring along a fork or hand spade if you have one. We hope to see you there. If you can’t find us please call 07902 454367, even 30 minutes of your time is valuable to us.

Snail Trails

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Thanks so much to Alicia and Rosie from Cambridge University Museum of Zoology for yesterday’s informative and fun sessions. Thanks also to The Orchard Community Centre for hosting. We hope you enjoyed the sessions, and that we’ll see you at another event soon. The shells collected will be added to an artwork in the Museum of Zoology’s new building.