For more info contact: beesbugs@sustainablesouthbrent.org.uk

The UK ranks 191 out of 218 countries for Biodiversity Intactness (State of Nature Report 2016). It’s not just rare species that are in trouble, the abundance of common species are falling. Nature needs our help and this project will pool the resources, knowledge, land and labour in the Parish of South Brent to come to the rescue.

 

What are we doing?

We have successfully established the wildflower verge along Exeter Road and the orchard at the Health Centre in 2019. The group is focussing on the following projects:

– Working with the Parish Council on the recommendations of the ‘Vision 2020 report’ to enhance green spaces across the village

– Setting up a wildlife gardening group

– Working with St Petroc’s to allow some of the churchyard to being more wildlife friendly

– Working with South West Water to scythe the meadow at the Marsh and increase biodiversity

– Working with private landowners to establish orchards and wildflower meadows where possible

 

Wildflower meadow preparation day 16th February 2019

This is what the site looked like in July 2019

The story so far …

We  launched the project in 2019, to create a traditional orchard using local fruit tree varieties, under sown with local native wildflowers on land at South Brent Health Centre. Local community volunteers received training in traditional management methods – pruning, scything, pressing. The orchard has become known as the ‘Apple a day’ orchard’ and we work with the Health centre to record health outcomes for participants. The Doctors will signpost the project to patients where appropriate. Whilst the proposed orchard is on private land, it will be accessible to members of the public outside of surgery hours (after 6pm on weekdays, after 12 noon on Saturdays and all day Sunday). The Doctors have indicated that they are very happy to have this traditional orchard working in this way at the Health Centre.

 

Orchard planting day 16th February 2019

 

This is what the site looked like in July 2019

Tuesday 27th August – ‘A few of the group practised the traditional art of scything the wildflowers in the Health Centre Orchard (aka the Apple a Day Orchard). Wildflower seeds were harvested to use on other sites and the green hay was composted’

Sharing resources and knowledge

We are building capacity in a network of mentors who have sufficient knowledge and confidence to provide advice to other landowners/householders who may wish to create wildflower meadows at home from window boxes to meadows.

 

Communication

People are encouraged to take photos and report sightings. Photos will be posted on the Sustainable South Brent facebook page. An annual report summarising the impact the project will be produced.

 

Skills and Learning

Ongoing traditional management of the habitats, increased knowledge in the community of local environmental issues, ongoing identification workshops/bug hunts, wild flower seed collection and cultivation, fruit tree grafting/pruning sessions.

 

Partners

  • Kew Gardens
  • South Brent Health Centre
  • Devon County Council
  • South Brent Parish Council
  • Brent Birders
  • Brent Island Trust
  • South Brent Primary
  • Devon Wildlife Trust
  • Orchard Link
  • Moor Meadows

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Latest News

27 May 2020

All the fruit trees have survived the extremely wet winter and now they have what increasingly looks like a drought to contend with. The yellow rattle seeds have not faired so well – probably falling foul to rotting in the extremely wet and mild winter. We sowed yellow rattle seeds at both the Apple a Day Orchard and the Exeter Road wildflower verge with the help of pupils from South Brent Primary. A few individuals have shown their face in the wildflower verge but none came up in the orchard. This is disappointing as we put thousands of seeds down. Better luck next year. However, the other wildflowers are showing really well now so overall we are pleased with progress.

 

Wildflowers and apple tree doing well at the Apple-a-day orchard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the few yellow rattle plants that made it on the road verge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project Documents

Brent Bees Butterflies and Bugs (4Bs)

pdf

Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey_Newsletter_2018

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Date added : 02-06-2019
pdf

Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey_local volunteers wanted

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Date added : 02-06-2019