Hi everyone, I’m Tim Speller, the manager of Staunton Country Park.
Whilst Staunton has this fantastically rich history and heritage, many visitors don’t realise that there’s also huge variety of insects and wildlife throughout the grounds.
Our country parks are committed to supporting the natural insect and animal habitats that exist there, and Staunton is no different.
Without further ado, one of our Heritage Lottery funded apprentice assistant horticulturalists, Sophie MacLeod, is taking over this blog, to explain the great, green-fingered work being done.
In recent weeks, myself and fellow apprentice Alison Read, along with staff and volunteers, have been working side by side in the walled garden to help pollinators thrive.
Pollinators are insects that collect pollen and nectar from flowers, and their movement from one to another fertilises the plants in the process.
A few examples of pollinators include butterflies, moths, bumble-bees and honey bees.
Many of these insects face pressures caused by habitat loss, climate change and pesticide use. As a consequence, they need all the help we can give them.
We took over an empty flower bed to create a paradise for pollinators. We got really hands-on with transforming the space - cultivating the soil, designing what hardy annual plants we wanted in the bed, through to buying and planting the seeds.
Seeds, including Californian poppies, Cerinthe and Delphiniums were sown there at the start of May and already some of the plants are blooming with colour to attract the pollinators.
Would you bee-lieve it
An empty beehive has also been commandeered for the plant bed. It’s been painted so that it can attract the pollinators through its colour and surrounding flowers.
It’s been great to see schoolchildren and older visitors who are curious about the work we’re doing. We’d encourage people to keep returning to see this project develop.
Nettles are niceIf you were to visit Staunton at the moment you may spot that there’s a space between the cabin and car park which might look like it’s packed with nettles. You’d be right, and there’s a reason for that. Can you guess what? Nettles are good for butterflies! We’ve put a poster up to explain this to visitors who might be surprised at first view. With summer on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to come along to Staunton to see the country park buzzing with insects and colour! We look forward to seeing you.