Over 50 volunteers signed up to be Wildflower Guardians in August 2023 as part of the Changing Chalk – Greening the Cities project. Their mission is to improve biodiversity and support public engagement.
The work involves maintaining and extending existing B Banks (bee and butterfly banks) across the city. Volunteers are learning how to propagate wildflowers and maintain the new planting areas. Some volunteers are training to specialise in plant and insect identification so they can monitor the plants and pollinators introduced to the habitats.
The volunteers are engaging local people with the results of their work, showing the connections between urban planting and our local Downland landscape.
Wildflower Guardians are supporting the impressive work of the Wildflower Conservation Society including:
- Collecting local wildflower seed from specified sites around Brighton and Hove
- Helping to process and propagate the seed at Stanmer Park
- Planting-out at various locations across the city
- Using a scythe to produce green hay
- Assisting with the annual cycle of management of B banks across the city
- Help to restore flower-rich grassland by cutting and burning encroaching, low-biodiversity scrub over the winter months
The Wildflower Guardians’ work dovetails with the Friends of Waterhall’s Wilding Waterhall project, extending habitat restoration across Brighton & Hove.
Images by Cheyenne Plant and Mike Luscombe