The Green Team

A group of helpers, the 'Green Team' have been recruited from ANS members and some non-members.  About eight people help regularly. Our objective has been to maintain and enhance the diversity of habitats and to manage the site for vulnerable species such as Water Vole. A very important task is to record the species on site.

Raking Hay in Barton Fields: August   2018

2nd Abingdon Scouts and the Green Gym joined Barton Fields Green Team.


Barton Fields Wildflower Meadow Project

97% of our lowland native wildflower meadows have disappeared since the 1950’s which has sent many of our wild bee and butterflies dependent upon them into a steep decline. So we began our native wildflower meadow restoration at Barton Fields in 2009 to aid their recovery. It is important to lower soil fertility to enable wildflowers to germinate. So we had the field disc-harrowed and then seeded the field with Yellow Rattle which is parasitic on grasses, reduces their vigour and gives wildflowers a chance to germinate. At the same time, we sowed native wildflower seeds, including Oxeye Daisy, Lesser and Greater Knapweed, Field Scabious, Birdsfoot, Cowslip, Betony and many more, including meadow grasses.

The meadow is now beginning to become wildflower rich and has some of the meadow grasses vital to many butterflies in their early stages as caterpillars, such as Cock’s-foot and Sheep’s Fescue. These are crucial for the declining Marbled White butterfly which now thrives here, along with Small Coppers, Meadow Brown and Ringlet butterflies, plus many more! You may have seen our butterfly surveyors noting them throughout the summer. We also have many wild and honey bees visiting our wildflowers. With each year, the meadow will become more wildflower rich and even more beautiful!

Why not create a wild side to your garden by leaving an area unmown and allowing wild grasses and flowers to attract invertebrates such as beetles, slugs, butterflies and bees? The slugs will in turn attract hedgehogs. We purchased our native wildflower seed from Charles Flowers. There is some great advice on how to establish meadow lawns on The Pollinator Garden website.

Jo Cartmell, 2013

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