Less mowing means more growing in wildflower project

By Barrie Hudson - 3 July 2020


A wet spring and the lockdown have had an unforeseen and beautiful side effect in a Swindon parish.

  • Oxeye daisies and pyramidal orchids are flourishing

    Oxeye daisies and pyramidal orchids are flourishing

Reduced mowing has seen wildflowers flourish in Haydon Wick.

Following a public consultation, the council decided to create wildflower sites at Hyssop Close, Elstree Way, Maybold Crescent and Old Blunsdon Road.

Councillor Richard Hailstone, Chairman of the Amenities & Leisure Committee, said: “Although the council were unable to cultivate and reseed two experimental plots with wildflower seeds as we had hoped, due to the wet spring and COVID-19, the reduced mowing of one area has produced spectacular results.

"The slope above the Tawny Owl pub, next to Hyssop Close, has produced a good display of oxeye daisies and a remarkable show of pyramidal orchids. These flowers were once common in the pastures around Haydon Wick and have survived in this location as if it had never been ploughed up and reseeded.”

Other trial areas with reduced grass cutting have produced a ‘hay meadow’ effect as they were re-seeded in the course of development, meaning wildflowers will take longer to re-establish naturally as seeds are blown in or deposited by birds.

The Council intends to re-start the sowing of wildflower seeds at the two experimental plots at Old Blunsdon Road and opposite Catherine Waite school in the autumn. If this is a success, the council will look for other suitable sites throughout the parish - and would welcome suggestions from residents.

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