Britain is: "the most nature depleted country in Europe" 'The State of Nature Report'.
Is that ok with us in South Leigh and High Cogges? NO, NO, NO!
Young and old, each of us can help make our villages better to live in - simply through wildflowers. They are easy, charming and inexpensive. Get the family involved – with or without Mum and Dad! Give them their own garden (as well as a computer)! Let's get this going now. Read on…
HOW do we do that?
There are 310,000+ miles of rural road verges in the UK & 1,600 wild flower species can grow there! Between our two communities we have about three miles of verge - six, if you count both sides - plus the adjacent gardens and fields.
Beautify our verges with wildflowers
So, imagine the splash of colour as wild Agrimony, Autumn Hawkbit, Bird's Foot Trefoil, Bladder Campion, Ox-Eye Daisies, White Campion, the Common or Lesser Knapweed and, of course, red poppies burst into bloom? Most are perennial, so they just come back for us each year.
And let's plant trees too
Building on David Brooks' dream - and his plan! - to plant "1,000 trees in South Leigh over the next five years", we can all help bring the place alive with trees and flowers.
Why? Here are five simple reasons:
Ponds big and small: Safely designed and located, they boost wildlife. Watching a dragonfly emerge from its casing is one of my special South Leigh moments. Have open water, native plants in and around a pond. It's easy. See a lovely little water garden (right).
Plant wildflower patches in our gardens: Easy to set up, need cutting maybe twice a year.
Plant wildflowers along verges: Safely back from the carriageways, the national charity "PLANTLIFE" say they make a nature corridor for bees, butterflies and other insects that links the gardens and fields around us. Just contact us, or go to their website.
Did you notice them at Marjory's Cross last year? It was a trial for this year!
Give wildlife and the environment a high priority: Think before using pesticides, is there another way? Work with our neighbours and talk with them about what we can do and what we have done.
It's all fun to do - honest!. Seeing and hearing insects around your wildflowers or your mini Water World, you really will get the "buzz", and there really is no sting in the tail!
What's "ETD"? We Brits have long prided ourselves on our manicured gardens, but it's not necessarily good news for nature. Watch out for "ETD" (Ecological Tidiness Disorder) - in other words, let nature have some scruffier patches!
This outline plan was planted by Graham Soame, helped by David Brooks and Martin Spurrier, and encouraged by many more in our village. It has the support support of the Parish Council.
CALL TO ACTION: NOW we need everyone to do a little and the current 'stay at home' might be the perfect time, so that we can see a lot. Let's aim at seeing a difference this year and a really BIG difference in 2021.
No more talk, let’s act! Contact us any time!
Graham Soame: firstname.lastname@example.org 01993 772799
Martin Spurrier: email@example.com Telephone: 07799 368464
© Keith Chandler
SLUGs are active everywhere, even in South Leigh, after an enforced period of hibernation. Events are starting slowly, as rules allow.
The SLUGs are back! After an enforced hibernation, the South Leigh United Gardeners have started to meet again and plan to continue to do so over the coming months.
After a visit to a village garden in June, a group of 20 SLUGs and guests met up for a summer party on 21st July at the smart and tranquil gardens of Eve and Tim Lawson. The weather was balmy, the food and refreshments we all brought were enjoyed, the garden explored and everyone said what a fun evening we had and how good it was to be able to meet up again. Special thanks to Eve and Tim for being such excellent hosts. (Click / tap on a photo below to enlarge it - if you're viewing this on a phone, it'll probably look better if you hold it in landscape position.)