James Clark of Malmesbury Residents Association writes:
Malmesbury Estate residents planted some fantastic nectar-rich flowers this spring, as the first stage of a project to green the estate.
Our Residents Association was awarded a Tower Habitats biodiversity grant from the Tower Hill Trust earlier this year for the Malmesbury Green Project. This will introduce planting and other features for wildlife on a number of sites across the estate. Planting will include a mixed native hedge, wild flowers, bulbs and lots of nectar-rich flowers, and we also plan to introduce bird boxes and insect homes.
We will consult residents on what they’d like to see planted on each site. As the middle of summer is not a good time for planting, we decided to work on one site in the spring, then start again in the autumn, aiming to complete the project by next spring. As our first site, we chose a disused flower bed by Guerin Square, on the corner of Malmesbury Road and Coborn Road.
We worked on the site in April 2019 and it went very well. We planted about 180 small plants, with the help of between 15-20 residents. The turnout was good given it was our first event of this type and the weather was cold and windy. We made contact with several residents we had not met before, which is great. Then planting included over 30 types of nectar-rich flowers, which will provide food for bees, butterflies and other pollinators right through from early spring to late autumn.
There was a dry period after the planting but a number of residents watered the site, and the plants seem to be doing well, as the photo below shows. We aim to have our next planting event in early September.