As many of you will have read in the local press, Sue Hodges the Chairman of Bridge Parish Council recently led a group of youngsters in a project to plant wild flowers on edge of the recreation ground. This initiative has been well received. However Carole, a local resident, has written in to BridgeNature.org to suggest that unless the recreation ground mowing cycle is altered the wild flower bulbs may not prosper as much as hoped. We thank Carole for writing in. Her letter has been copied to Sue Hodges and is published in full below:
The wildflower area underneath the trees behind the tennis courts on Bridge Recreation ground:
It appears to be that the management cycle is:
> To plant/encourage spring bulbs under the trees for flowering before the canopy develops.
>To then not mow the area till late September/early October.
On the area immediately under the tree canopy, in the shade, could this cycle be reviewed, with the possibility of mowing from early-mid July? Summer wildflowers will not prosper under the deep canopy of shade there. The outcome of the present cycle will be a colonising growth of tree saplings, bracken, nettles, which will very quickly overpower the spring flowers and bulbs. Whereas mowing just after midsummer will not damage the spring flowering plants but will have the advantage of suppressing the more vigorous, colonising undergrowth which thrives out of direct sunlight.
However, part of this wildflower area isn’t under the tree canopy (the 2 trees there are still quite small) and this area could be left unmown till Sept/Oct, because the light open aspect is ideal for for summer-flowering wildflowers.
Thank you for giving this consideration, and if worthy, passing the idea on to those who manage the mowing cycle on the recreation ground.