Wildflower Planting in St. Catherine of Siena's Wildlife Garden

Today some members of the LOS Young Birders' Club Team went back to St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Primary School in Lowton to do some wild flower planting in their wonderful wildlife garden with Mr. Clegg's Year 3 class. LOS Conservation Officer Roy Rhodes very kindly donated many plants from his own garden to boost the stock here with the aim of increasing the biodiversity in this excellent school resource.

Roy Rhodes demonstrating planting to a group of St. Catherine's pupils
In our previous visit here we had carried out a short bird survey as part of the RSPB's Big Schools' Birdwatch with Year 4 pupils.

Today it was the turn of Year 3 pupils and the aim was to increase the number of plants which would attract insects, spiders, moths and butterflies in the summer months when we hope to be back to do another 'bioblitz' day.

Getting 'stuck in'
The pupils came out well-prepared with their wellies in three separate groups of ten, each time accompanied by a member of St. Catherine's staff and they quickly got kitted up with gloves and trowels ready to start work.

Roy gave each group a short talk about why we are doing this activity followed by a demonstration of how to plant the wild flowers in the holes which we'd prepared earlier in the day.

All the pupils were very enthusiastic and keen to 'get their hands (well gloves) dirty' on the job. The LOS members worked with them in groups of three or four showing the pupils where to put the plants and talking to them about nature and wildlife in general.

Roy selected these plants from his garden because, fingers crossed, he thinks that they should do well in the soil conditions here.

We explained that some of the plants should grow and have flowers this summer, some will flower next year and many should self seed and produce even more plants for the garden.

The plants will attract insects and in turn we hope that these will attract more birds into the garden.  This is what is meant by increasing the biodiversity of an area.

Jeff showing an interested pupil what to do
Here's a list of what we planted:
The pupils were very keen to answer questions
  • St John's Wort
  • Wild Garlic
  • Vipers Bugloss
  • Foxglove
  • Mullein
  • Yellow Archangel
  • Dame's Violet
  • Red Campion
  • Jack-by-the hedge
  • Feverfew
  • Forget-me-not
The LOS Young Birders' Club Team hope to be back sometime in July with Roy's Moth Mobile to do another mothing session and to see what else the new plantings have brought to the garden.

Year 3 Pupils from St. Catherine's holding the wildflowers before planting them
It was a great couple of hours and everyone worked well together. Thanks must go out the LOS members who volunteered for this session - Jeff Hurst, George Pike and Martyn Jones as well as our Conservation Officer Roy Rhodes who planned and lead the group today.

More Year 3 pupils from St. Catherine's in their Wildlife Garden
All photographs (c) Martyn Jones 2014
You can click on any of the photographs to enlarge them