A small and beautiful event was held last Thursday 20th June, to look at identifying the Wildflowers at the Oakham Castle meadow.
Clare Caro, a Home Educator, and her two girls have led on this project with other local Home Education families to diversify the land in the Castle grounds, to grow wildflowers from seed and to increase biodiversity. The group used seeds from the national Grow Wild project (a national outreach initiative of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew), and they were broadcast over a wide bank after it was cleared of grass. This was a big and heavy task as lots of earth had to be shifted in barrows across the site! Once this was achieved, the seeds could be sown and watered.
The project is now two years on, and seeds were collected last year to share with other wildflower projects. This year there are beautiful flowers in abundance to encourage wildlife and pollinators.
The Wildflower quiz encouraged participants to look closely and slowly and to think about the flowers we saw. Identifying flowers by sight, knowledge, books, discussion and memories gave us a picture of the variety of the wildflowers that are growing. We found; Red Dead Nettle, Salad Burnet, Teasel, Corn Chamomile, Red campion and Bladder Campion to name a few.
The event was supported by the Lord Lieutenant of Rutland, Sarah Furness who has a passion for Wildflowers and Rutland County Councillor Miranda Jones who represents the Green party and Chair of Uppingham in Bloom, both are campaigning for the natural growth of verges to support pollinators. Root-and-Branch Out CIC were there as participants to learn and as coordinators of the Active Rutland, Grow Together Project, of which Clare Caro is a lead volunteer.
More work will be undertaken now after identifying many of the wildflowers, by the Home Education community, and there are great plans to create a resource for Castle visitors about the Wildflower meadow. Watch this space!