I’ve skipped the last three newsletters (oops) as we’ve been so busy. For a start we’ve moved into our new house; incredibly stressful, expensive and time consuming. For those thinking of building their own “grand design” – don’t do it! It will be amazing, though, once I’ve finished paying the bills. The wildflower roof looks wonderful already, for starters.
Apart from that we’ve had two major developments – see other stories – which have really warmed me.
We already know we will be responsible for putting in more than 500 acres of wildflowers across the country in 2013, and we hope to double that by the end of the year. There are a couple of big projects out there we hope to help with. That’s over 4 million square metres in thousands of sites, from patio planters to airfields. 4 million! If we can hit our target I’ll be really thrilled..
We’re signing up more and more owners of wildflower meadows to provide us with seed, giving them a commercial yield they never dreamt of seeing on their land. We’re signing up more specialist suppliers too, including the fabulous Heritage Seeds in Dorset – and we’re about to sell some Sussex seed mixes too.
We’re delighted to be supplying Solar Century with native hedge plants and wildflower seed for their solar farms, and to have brokered a deal with Bumblebee Conservation, who will be advising SC on running the sites to be bee friendly. Solar farms might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but contrary to popular belief they can actually enhance biodiversity and provide brilliant and attractive habitats for some of our most treasured animals. Solar Century are going the extra mile to create those habitats and we’re delighted to be working with them on a number of exciting projects, which we hope will set a benchmark for the industry.
If you’re thinking of buying a large number of native hedge plants this autumn we’d recommend you pre-order them. We’ve already reserved thousands of plants for customers, and anticipate demand continuing to rise sharply as buyers increasingly specify British provenance.
We’ve joint funded a FABULOUS bumblebee app with Nature Guides, which is a must buy for anyone remotely interested in bees. Bumblebee Conservation receive 25% of download fees after Apple take their chunk. The app is available NOW on iTunes:
Bumblebees of Britain & Ireland (Pro edition)
Bumblebees of Britain & Ireland (Basic edition)
Getting Out and About
Last month we ran a successful day for journalists and designers on wildflowers featuring Matthew Wilson, Ted Chapman from Kew and Pond Conservation’s Jeremy Biggs. I have a couple of days at Hampton Court with the bumblarium, following a great Gardener’s World show . Phew!