Wednesday, 08 April 2015
A colourful array of wildflowers will spring in to bloom at the University of Worcester this summer thanks to the efforts of a local charity.
Young people from the Kidderminster-based Emily Jordan Foundation have spent time growing and nurturing hundreds of seedlings, which they have now planted at the University.
Dr Duncan Westbury, Senior Lecturer in Ecology and Environmental Management, who has been instrumental in increasing campus biodiversity, said: “We first created the wildflower garden in 2012 in collaboration with the Malvern Hills Conservators, using green hay from Malvern Common. Three years on, we wanted to further enrich the area using plants grown from seed collected once again from Malvern Common.
“We were delighted that the Emily Jordan Foundation wanted to help us by growing the seeds in their polytunnels and help plant the wildflowers into our meadow. Wildflower establishment in existing grassland using seed can be problematic and by producing pot grown plants many of the issues of establishment are overcome. Ultimately, this wildflower area will look even better and in turn will be even more beneficial for wildlife.”
The wildflower garden is the latest in a long-line of biodiversity initiatives at the University, which have also seen the introduction of two bee hotels and 25 bird boxes.
“Areas managed for wildflowers support numerous bees, butterflies and other insects, but also our garden birds,” Dr Westbury said. “This is most definitely one of the most worthwhile projects I have been involved in to enhance biodiversity at the University of Worcester because it provides an extremely worthwhile project for students at the Emily Jordan Foundation to hone and develop skills.”
The Emily Jordan Foundation helps individuals with moderate learning and physical difficulties to lead fulfilled lives. As well as its TWIGS gardening project, cultivating wildflowers, the Foundation also works with the University through its SPOKES project, supplying and maintaining push bikes for university students.