Growing Wild Project
On this page you will find information about wildflower areas in Northumberland
Northumberland County Council is responsible
for the maintenance of a vast network of grassland sites, including
parks, nature reserves and roadside verges. In order for grassland
to be effectively managed it requires regular cutting throughout
the Spring and Summer growing season.
However, not all areas of grassland need to be
maintained to the standard of garden lawns or football pitches.
Grassland that is allowed to flourish can transform into a sea of
wildflowers becoming a haven for bees and butterflies.
The Growing Wild Project
The Council has developed a project with
Northumberland Wildlife Trust called ‘Growing Wild’ which will
encourage appropriate areas of grassland to grow into and be
managed as wildflower meadows.
Potential sites are assessed for their
suitability through testing of the soil conditions. If soil
conditions are right then the selected site is closely mown in late
autumn and the cuttings removed.
The site is then prepared by scarifying which
breaks up the surface of the topsoil and removes dead
undergrowth. Spraying of herbicide is carried out on sites where
invasive species such as creeping buttercup are prevalent.
Both of these actions create openings in the vegetation cover which
gives new species such as yellow rattle and oxeye daisy the
opportunity to establish.
Wildflower seeds or plug plants are then added
to the site before winter sets in. The site is left to develop
naturally the following spring allowing as many wildflowers to grow
as possible. Sites are not cut until late July and the cuttings are
removed as leaving them on site provides excess nutrients which
encourages coarse weeds to grow and take over.
A second cut may take place in late
September/early October if too much secondary growth has occurred
which will inhibit wildflowers from growing again the following
This cutting regime will then continue in
subsequent years to maintain the area. Seed for the project has
been sourced from a local farm in Thropton to ensure that it is
able to cope with the weather conditions that the county of
Northumberland experiences. The farmer has several existing
wildflower meadows which include an excellent variety of species
such as eyebright, meadow buttercup, oxeye daisy, red clover,
yellow rattle and yarrow.
A total of 12 sites have so far been developed as part of the
project. Click on an area to download a location map.
- Choppington Woods Furnace Bank
- Bedlington Station Furnace Bridge
- Bedlington Station Gallagher Park
- Bedlington Hartford Bridge
- Pegswood Pit Heap
- Church Lane, Bedlington Country Park
- Farquhar Deuchar Park, Morpeth
- East Cramlington Local Nature Reserve
- Fallowfield, Ashington
- Isabella Pit Heap, Blyth
- Valley Park , Cramlington
These Growing Wild sites can be identified by the bee logo. In
2012 and 2013 the Neighbourhood Services team of Northumberland
County Council hopes to develop a further 10 sites as a result of
some additional funding received by SITA Trust. We are currently
considering sites in Amble, Berwick upon Tweed, Blyth, Cramlington,
Hexham, Morpeth and Seaton Sluice for inclusion in the scheme in
consultation with the relevant local parish council and any local
How You Can Help
The Council would like members of the public
to let them know of any areas of grass that are regularly cut which
they would like to see transformed into wildflower habitats.
Alternatively there may be areas of grassland that were once a sea
of wildflowers but have unfortunately been cut too vigorously in
recent years that could be restored.
We would also like to know of any areas of
existing wildflowers so that we can ensure they continue to be
managed in a way that will preserve them. If you have any ideas for
suitable wildflower sites please get in contact with:
Kara Jackson at Northumberland Wildlife
Trust on 0191 2846884 or email@example.com