Wymeswold Parish Council is keen to protect and promote the biodiversity of our parish.
In recent years we have regularly planted bulbs in the village and last year (2021) we secured a grant from Leicestershire County Council for 7000 bulbs and 2 kilos of wildflower seeds. In late autumn parish councillors and a team of volunteers planted 2000 English bluebell bulbs and 1000 wood anemones in the woodland on the eastern outskirts of the village.
The woodland had originally been planted by local schoolchildren in the 1980s.
We invited a local playgroup to help with the planting of the bluebells and anemones.
1000 daffodil bulbs were planted in the grass outside Manor Court by over 50 volunteers.
Another 1000 daffodils were planted by volunteers at various locations in the village,
such as St Mary’s churchyard and along Hoton Road and Brook Street.
On the banks of the river Mantle on Brook Street we planted 1000 fritillary bulbs and
1000 snowdrop bulbs.
The wildflower seeds were scattered along the western verge of Burton Lane after the
mowing contractors had scarified the area. Seeds were also scattered on the rough piece
of land on the corner of Hoton Road and Brook Street, which is also being left uncut.
A recent survey by Richard Ellison, the village’s Tree Warden, found that at least 15 wildflower species have now established themselves in the verges, including yellow rattle.
In January Richard Ellison, with the help of Leicestershire County Council’s Martin Piggins and Adam Goodall, together with residents and parish councillors, planted about 50 oak and rowan whips. Sadly, most of the oaks have not survived, mainly because of the dry spring, but a dozen or so of the rowans and around 5 oaks have now come into leaf. A local resident kindly donated a voucher to the parish council which enabled us to plant
five specimen birch trees in the grass outside Manor Court.
From 2023 the parish council will be asking contractors not to begin mowing until June and then to mow much less often than they currently do. This will benefit insect populations because there will be more pollen and nectar for them as a result. We also hope to secure more grants for bulbs and trees this winter and will be looking for volunteers to help with the planting.
Wymeswold Parish Council Biodiversity Update for 2023:
All public bodies in England are now required by law to conserve and enhance biodiversity. This is the strengthened ‘biodiversity duty’ that the Environment Act 2021 introduced. Wymeswold Parish Council (WPC) is already very proactive in promoting and protecting the biodiversity of the parish. In the past four years, for example, the WPC has planted no fewer than 12,000 bulbs; primarily to provide nectar and pollen for insects in the spring months. Thanks to the efforts of Richard Ellison, the village’s tree warden, 8 nest boxes for swifts have been installed in the belfry of St Mary’s church. The contractor who manages the Cemetery and the grounds of St Mary’s Church has also erected several bird boxes in the Cemetery and set aside areas for wildflowers. Again, thanks to Richard Ellison, a parallel hedge has been planted in the Washdyke to provide additional shelter for wildlife and increase biodiversity. Approximately 60 trees have been planted in various locations: near Manor Court; along Burton Road; along Wysall Lane; and in the Washdyke.
The WPC has set aside two specific areas for wildflowers, which are only mown in the Autumn; namely Burton Lane and the corner of Hoton Road and Brook Street. The mowing contractor for the village has been instructed not to commence mowing in the village until June and to avoid mowing any wildflowers they see in the grass. As well as the wildflowers providing much needed pollen and nectar for insects in the spring, it also gives them the chance to set seed. This year bee orchids have been found in one of the areas left unmown in the Washdyke. Some villagers have complained about the rather untidy state of the grass verges. This is quite understandable, but the sobering fact that insect populations in Britain have declined by almost 60% in the past 20 years is one of the reasons why the Parish Council has adopted this new mowing regime, which is in line with our duty as a public body and complies with the Environment Act 2021.