What is a wildflower meadow?
A wildflower meadow is an area of permanent grass where wildflowers grow. As well as looking beautiful, they create a lively habitat for insects, bees, birds and small mammals to nest and feed in.
Our countryside was once full of meadows, boasting beautiful landscapes filled with a variety of colourful flowers. However, we have sadly lost over 97% of our wildflower meadows since the 1930s.
Why are wildflower meadows important?
Wildflower meadows provide shelter and food for important pollinators, including bees. There are over 250 species of bee in the UK which all play a crucial role in supporting our ecosystem. Unfortunately, when wildflower meadows become scarce, so do pollinators, as well as the multitude of other wildlife that rely on them.
Importantly, wildflower meadows encourage diversity. The more diversity in our natural habitats, the stronger our ecosystem will be, and the more insects, birds and other animals will have places to call home.
What has Silva done so far?
We want to improve our impact on the environment and Bracknell as much as possible. So, on Friday 22 October, our grounds maintenance team got together to plant our first wildflower meadow in Great Hollands, Bracknell. The meadow is visible alongside a busy path by the play park, meaning the local community will see it every day and watch it grow.
During this session, the team:
1. Cut out the areas where paths through the meadow have been allocated.
2. Planted yellow rattle seeds to prepare the ground for the wildflowers. These will flower between April and July next year.
3. Planted tulip bulbs and hedgerows to give some colour and interest to the area while the meadow grows.
In the Spring, our grounds maintenance team plan to sew the wildflower seeds so they can begin to grow in optimal conditions.
It will be maintained by our grounds maintenance team to ensure access to the park and nearby homes.
In time, the meadow will grow into a beautiful communal space that can be enjoyed by everyone.
Dasos Christou, executive director (customer relations), said:
“I am delighted to see that our grounds maintenance team has planted our first of many wildflower meadows. This brilliant idea was completely theirs, so I’m very happy to support them and they got the chance to implement it. I'm really excited to revisit it once it flourishes and compare the before and after.
“Tackling climate change and promoting sustainability is one of our key themes in our new strategy. It’s great to see colleagues from all across the business taking our new strategy on board and getting involved in the way our grounds maintenance team have here.”
Stay tuned for more pictures as the wildflower meadow progresses. Remember, this is a long-term project, so it may take one to two years before it truly flourishes.
But Great Hollands is just the beginning. We're keen to plant more wildflower meadows, so if you know a good place for one, please let our grounds maintenance team know.