Wild Marlow restores wildlife area at Marlow Fire Station

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In summer 2023 Wild Marlow noticed that as part of a refurbishment project at Marlow Fire Station, the area of land at the front of the building had been turfed over, destroying some valuable habitat for wildlife.

Following discussions with Wild Marlow, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service was keen to rectify the situation. A plan was developed to encourage biodiversity around the site, especially for pollinators, and to make some simple enhancements to support wildlife.

The plan was well received and in August last year, an enthusiastic work party of Wild Marlow volunteers dug in with members of the Fire & Rescue Service to restore the wildflower area. The work party spent hours clearing the ground of the new turf to allow the existing wildflowers and seed-bed to recover and regrow the following spring. The turf was stacked to create a bund for future planting and in October some native wildflower seed was sown and spring bulbs planted, to see if any would take and aid the restoration.

This year the area looks very different.

as it looks now!

Verity West, of Wild Marlow, said: “I visited the site on World Bee Day, 20th May, and it was absolutely alive with buzzing pollinating insects going about their business.

“I’m thrilled with what we have achieved so far. The yellow rattle seed we sowed has taken well and will help to keep the perennial rye grass suppressed
in future years. The patch is currently full of colour from a really diverse mix of species including cornflower, poppy, camomile, green alkanet, wild mustard, hawks-beard, oxeye daisy and corncockle, to name just a few!”

A work party will be organised in the late summer once the plants have seeded, when the area will be cut and raked back. This is important for the plants as well as for the soil to remove the arisings.

“We look forward to watching this wildflower patch in the future to see what flowers appear, how they are helping wildlife and where more support is needed,” Verity said.

Article author: Paul Merchant

About the author: Founded MyMarlow.co.uk in its original version back in 2000 - yes the internet DID exist back then. Brought up in Marlow, went to school here, now has children at the same schools. Quite clearly loves all things Marlow - hence spending over 2 decades doing this!

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