On a beautiful May evening yesterday the 2nd Guiseley Guides and their leaders helped the Friends plant out flowers in Suzannah’s Meadow. This will help build up a nectar rich habitat to encourage bees and butterflies.
When the Bellway Estate was built the Friends suggested that the meadow at the bottom of the Park was restored – as it had been in the past. The area was duly landscaped back into a hillside by Bellway with plans passed for a path to come from the estate, up through the meadow and join the Greenshaw Terrace Path. The area was then planted up with rough grass, clover, vetch, birdsfoot trefoil and other early meadow establishing plants. We called it Suzannah’s meadow after the several ladies of that name who owned and farmed the land in past centuries.
Work on the meadow is a long term project of the Friends in conjunction with Meadfleet: a grass path has been cut along the bottom by the fence, joining it up with the central area of the estate for accessibility by less able residents, the planned gate entrance has been opened up for access to work on the meadow, orchard and lower levels of the Park (with a kissing gate due to go in over the summer). And, several local estate residents have put up bird boxes supplied by both themselves and Meadfleet, and planted crabapple trees to help pollinate surrounding fruit trees – one crabapple is in remembrance of a child who died at birth the others for siblings.
The next step is getting rid of the clumps of coarse grass and the planting and cultivation of more varied meadow wildflowers to build up a nectar rich habitat to encourage bees, which in turn will help pollinate the nearby community orchard .
Johanna Brooks of Brooks Ecological and Chris Parapia organized last night’s planting event with the 2nd Guiseley Guides, and prepared the ground over the weekend. The wildflower plugs were obtained by the Friends through a Leeds City Council Horticultural Grant. The Guides then spent an hour or so planting the plugs in the prepared ground last night, ensuring they were watered and mulched.
The plants now need to be kept watered to establish them and neighbours on the estate have volunteered to help do that.