Paradise for Pollinators
In March 2023 Sandridge Parish Council launched the project – Paradise for Pollinators. The idea was to aim to create a “jigsaw meadow” within the parish, using a combination of areas, or “jigsaw pieces” from resident’s gardens, school grounds, our open spaces and any other outdoor space that could be donated to the project. These individual jigsaw pieces were then sowed with a mixture of native wildflower seeds purchased by the Parish Council. Our initial target was to try to collectively reach a total meadow area of 2,023 square metres, or half an acre in old money. The initiative gained momentum through an article in the Neighbourhood News, social media posts, posters displayed around the parish and a feature on local Radio Verulam’s show, “Environment Matters”.
The seed collection and wildflower education evening on March 14 th at Marshalswick Community Centre was a great success with guest speakers from Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust, Butterfly Conservation and St Albans Beekeepers. Our hall was full of enthusiastic participants and the presentations from our experts were fun and informative, but also emphasized how crucial it is that we all need to act now to help reduce the terrifying decline in biodiversity in Hertfordshire. In the last 100 years we have lost 97% of our wildflower meadows. Statistics like this may sit uncomfortably with us, but we can do more, and we want to change things for the better.
We are very pleased to report that we surpassed our target! Thank you to over 70 residents for pledging areas of their gardens, all the schools in the parish for donating areas of their grounds and both St Leonard’s Church and Marshalswick Baptist Free Church for designating new wildflower areas. These, alongside our own newly created beds in each of our open spaces, combine to over half an acre of wildflower meadow across the parish. That equates to over 8 tennis courts!
We look forward to extending these areas in future years and keep adding more and more pieces to the wildflower jigsaw.