West Bristol Climate Action were busy planting at Ashton Meadow last weekend. Over twenty volunteers, of all age groups, came from right across the city to meet at the meadow next to the harbour and help the council reach its green target of rewilding 30% of its land.
On this occasion, volunteers were planting a special mix of seeds that flourish on clay and loamy soils. Dan Geerah, the volunteer coordinator, gave an overview of the seed species and the soil. They were planting EM4, a type of meadow mixture adapted to soils with high clay content, such as the Ashton Meadow. These flowers can withstand the ground at Ashton Meadow, which is prone to waterlogging when wet and crumbling when dry, so that come spring they will grow into a flourishing meadow.
The local community welcomed the planting of a new wildflower meadow, with passers intrigued by the work, asking about the meadow and wanting to get involved. Also at the site were two councillors, Katy Grant of Clifton Village, and Tessa Fitzjohn of Bedminster, who joined for the day.
Once the meadow begins to flower, it will become home to all kinds of insects and help consolidate a biodiverse pocket in Bristol. It will add variety to the spot under the suspension bridge, which for many locals is the starting point for walks up into leigh woods and along the old railway line. In helping the council reach its 30% rewilding target, the meadow will also grow root systems which can mitigate flooding and make the soil more stable.
By planting wildflower meadows such as these, we hope to inspire local communities into getting involved with green initiatives, and make Bristol a more biodiverse, and greener place as it attempts to hit its climate targets. To get involved with our rewilding projects, click the volunteer page on our website. If picking up the rake isn’t for you, our JustGiving page is now open and any support is appreciated, so that we can continue to buy the seeds and equipment to help rewild Bristol.