On Sunday, 5 November, a sturdy dozen volunteers helped us weed and plant up the butterfly bank. It was a beautiful day, with periods of golden sunshine but a chilly sharp wind, and a huge amount was achieved. Thank you so much to all our volunteers, those with muscles, those with gardening skill, those with resilience and those with cake!
It’s a challenging project: the bank is windswept and can be dry, and over the few years of its development we’ve tried a number of approaches. Our aim is to populate it with plants useful to a few key butterflies, especially the small blue which is struggling to survive. It was just the western third of the bank that was our focus on Sunday. Clearing the grass, thistles, and a few dandelions, we planted out dozens of little pots of kidney vetch, birdsfoot trefoil, rock rose and cinquefoils, most of them grown from seed. We then laid out some stones along the bank (although many more are needed) – specifically for the butterflies to bask in the sun and show off their incredible beauty.
Thanks to the volunteers who also helped plant more daffodils, prepare the hedge bank for seeding, and build and burn the brush in a beautiful bonfire.