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Volunteers join Team Stamford to bring wildflowers to roadside verges




While many town improvements have proved divisive in Stamford, there is one going on at the moment which seems to be winning universal support.

A small team of volunteers - many wearing bright orange - have been digging up grass verges at the weekends.

This might seem a backward step when it comes to making the town a little bit ‘greener’, but there is science behind the bold plan’s of the community group Team Stamford.

Neil McIvor, Amanda Wheeler and Nina Van Dyck
Neil McIvor, Amanda Wheeler and Nina Van Dyck

Taking a few moments off from lifting lumps of turf, Amanda Wheeler, town councillor and volunteer, explained the bigger picture.

“We’re preparing the ground for planting a wildflower and grasses seed mix which is suited to limestone soils.

“Over the next three years these should become established and a haven for wildlife such as bees and butterflies.

Shaun Ford, Leo Marsh, Jordan Brown, Paddy Jellen, Emma Newsome and Paul 'Pep' Pepper
Shaun Ford, Leo Marsh, Jordan Brown, Paddy Jellen, Emma Newsome and Paul 'Pep' Pepper

“It also means the verges will not need cutting so often - only twice a year compared with the current four times for grass - although the cuttings for wildflowers will need collecting up, rather than being left on the ground.”

Twenty-one-year-old student Jordan Brown was also among those volunteering on Sunday morning.

“I start work at the Bull and Swan this week, and wish I had known about this earlier in the lockdown,” he said.

“I have also just started studying environmental science with the Open University and so I’m aware grass verges are not much good for carbon capture, but wildflowers bring in pollinators such as bees and butterflies. This is something I want to get into more.”

Emma Newsome, Nina Van Dyck, Neil McIvor and mascot Tarquin, Paul 'Pep' Pepper and Lisa Brewin
Emma Newsome, Nina Van Dyck, Neil McIvor and mascot Tarquin, Paul 'Pep' Pepper and Lisa Brewin

Other volunteers include keen gardener Paddy Jellen. She heard about the project through her membership of Stamford Town Council’s climate action working group - Coun Wheeler and Coun Shaun Ford are also members.

“I would like to see the establishment of wildlife corridors in Stamford,” she said, adding that the pandemic had encouraged people to stop and think more about the town environment.

To get involved in helping, Team Stamford has a Facebook page where the community group’s forthcoming activities are publicised for potential volunteers to take part.

A sign explaining why Team Stamford has dug up the grass
A sign explaining why Team Stamford has dug up the grass


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