Returning Wildlife to Cefn Ila

At Cefn Ila we are working on lots of mini projects to improve the site for people and wildlife. Perhaps one of the most aesthetically pleasing is the creation of a wildflower area. An area of the old walled garden will be utilised as a wildflower patch to host annual and perennial wildflowers which were once common.

Lesser celandine as about to forma blanket of colour in the walled garden.

Lesser celandine as about to form a blanket of colour in the walled garden.

With thanks to our volunteers and Monmouthshire Meadows Group a large section of the walled garden will be nurtured into a wildflower area containing local seed. As many readers will know, the nettles and brambles currently dominating the walled garden indicate rich soils. This is no surprise as the soil is a rich dark colour, splattered with shells and pebbles from the seaweed used to improve its nutrient levels. The very experienced Stephanie Tyler of Monmouthshire Meadows Group advised that we should strip the soil of much of its nutrients to prepare it for wildflowers.

Volunteers prepare the ground for potatoes

Volunteers prepare the ground for potatoes


So this year we will be planting potatoes to do just that. Having turned the soil we will also get the chance to see what is lying dormant in the soil. Having possibly never been treated with herbicide the soil in the walled garden may already be host to an array of interesting wild plant seeds just waiting for their chance to germinate. So we’ll be keeping an eye on what comes up and keep you posted.

Come and find out about the wild flowers at Cefn Ila and learn which native and naturalised plants you can eat at our event on the 26th April 1-5. Be guided by foraging and wildflower experts to discover a range of plants you may have never noticed and taste some local wild delights. To find out more or book contact AmeliaLake@woodlandtrust.org.uk

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