What You Can Do

You can help on existing sites, via local or FAB contacts, or you can simply get on with helping wildflowers in your area by your own efforts.  Contact FAB for plant sources, or if you want advice (such as looking at the site to see what species would be suitable).

How To Create Your Site

There are many habitats that can be created, and the skill is in putting exactly the right species in exactly the right place.  Wild areas are viciously competitive, so the wrong plant will be outcompeted, even in a sunny spot.   Also, the poorer the soil the better (see “Beware Fertiliser” ), because competitor ‘thug’ plants can wipe out the more delicate wildflowers.   FAB is not gardening, but helping nature re-colonise.

Care should be taken to obtain landowner permission and to avoid damaging valuable plant communities such as those found in nature reserves.

Three examples of habitat creation are described below:

1. Bluebells

Bluebell woods are easy to create, as in my garden(photo). In July, collect seeds from a local wood, with permission from the landowner; the ripe seeds are black in a cup that opens up as it dries.


At your new site, select bare-soil woodland patches (areas too shady for summer plants), but away from evergreen foliage (eg ivy, holly or yew).  Sow the seeds thinly in short rows, covering with soil to stop predation. Five years later, the seedlings will have matured into flowering bluebells; the flood of seed produced each year will then naturalise in the wood.

It is illegal to dig up any wildflowers, but it is fine to collect seed with permission.

2. Meadows

It may be best to cut a meadow twice a year initially, once in June, and once in October, to speed fertility reduction. Once the fertility is low enough, a single cut in October will suffice. All material should be removed from the site.

Yellow rattle seed, after collection in August, can be immediately scattered through the meadow. Yellow rattle, an annual, latches on to the roots of grass, weakening the grass and helping wildflowers do even better.

Plug plants (wildflowers grown in small pots), are the easy way to introduce a species into grassland.

At plug planting time (any time of year), the grass should first be cut as close to the ground as possible, to minimise initial competition for the wildflower. In summer, water the hole before planting the plug. Ensure the plug is firmly inserted and deep enough (flush, like a bath plug).

Alternatively, ground can be ploughed or sprayed with herbicide and seed sown, with three cuts the first summer to allow delicate seedlings to survive competition.

3.  Woods/Wetlands

By selecting the right species, you can start a colony that then evolves and spreads.  By establishing many species in this way, you will have transformed the site.  The key to success is putting exactly the right plant in exactly the right place.  Get to know your chosen species very well indeed.

But:-  Beware Fertiliser !                                                                                                           or    Home

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