Roll up, roll up!

The autumn mists are starting to roll in here in Pevensey and we’ve been treated to some delicious warm golden days as the nights draw in. Autumn is not only the time for harvest, but also the time of regeneration as seeds tuck into the soil and wait for the spring. It’s also time to finally roll up the carpet on our test patch, roll out the seeds and give you an update!

Last Friday we were able to complete the cycle of our human intervention to see if we can introduce new species of wildflower and grasses to Anderida Park via our test patch, and it gives me great delight to report in of our progress.

What a relief to roll up and remove the carpet as this stage had lasted longer than intended, but what a triumph for our community that is didn’t suffer human or natural intervention and was simply left alone to do its job. The carpet is now off to a new home…… a vegetable patch in Eastbourne!

As you can see from the picture we experienced some die back. Not as much as I had expected but we gave it a bit of a thin out and raked it over to remove the dead grass and loosen the soil to reveal the bare earth needed.

We then carefully scattered the ‘Weald Native Origin Seed’ donated to the project by Agrifactors (Southern) Limited and the seed we harvested back in August (see previous post.) Some inquisitive walkers came over to chat to us about the project so we asked them to join us in scattering the seeds.

The large russet seed pod pictured above is a Common Spotted Orchid which was our ‘gold dust’ in the trial. Orchids are notoriously slow and may take as long as four years to show themselves….. and that’s only if symbiotic fungus is present in the soil as it is the fungus that provide the sugar needed for germination and initial growth to take place. So this really is our ‘wild card.’

Once the seed was scattered it was followed by some vigorous stomping to push the seed into the soil.

Now it is over to nature and we will be checking back in spring – we have to be prepared there are good seasons and bad so we have fingers crossed for a good season.

Once again I would like to thank  Agrifactors (Southern) Limited for their donation, my mentor Keith Datchler, my husband Paul and our spontaneous volunteers for their assistance.

Thank you for reading this post and I look forward to giving you an update in spring.

Sharon x

‘Deepening our connections to nature and each other through creativity’

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