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John Chambers Wildflower Seed Help Charity to Re-Wild Wakefield

John Chambers Wildflower Seed Help Charity to Re-Wild Wakefield

Local charity Open Country, based in Harrogate, has enlisted the help of John Chambers Wildflower Seed in a bid to help re-wild the Wakefield district.

Open Country has over 30 years’ experience in enabling people with disabilities to access and enjoy the countryside. They achieve this through a variety of outdoor activities and the provision of information, training, and advice.

Open Country has an allotment in Harrogate which is used by their weekly activity groups, and a growing project in Wakefield 'Wild about Wakefield', which

aims to help people with disabilities across the district access the countryside.

Members of Open Country's Nature Force group are involved in a wide range of conservation projects aimed at improving the environment for people and wildlife across Yorkshire. The group launched its Wildflower project in summer 2020 when Covid restrictions limited their wider activities. The group ordered wildflower seeds and soil from John Chambers Wildflower Seed. They planted the seeds in September with volunteers watering them and protecting them from the frost throughout the autumn and winter. They

had a fantastic result and have successfully grown over 5,000 wildflower plug plants.

John Chambers Wildflower Seed has over 30 years of history supplying native British produced wildflower seed and mixes to landscape and garden lovers across the UK. The company regularly lend their support to charities and community projects throughout the country.

So successful was the wildflower venture as an activity and income generator for the charity that Open Country ordered more seeds and peat free topsoil from John Chambers Wildflower Seed at the beginning of Spring this year. These included Ox eye daisy, Great burnet, Great bird’s foot trefoil, Yellow rattle, Meadowsweet, Devil’s bit scabious and Dropwort.

Georgia Gilbert from John Chambers Wildflower Seed has been helping Open Country and comments, “I am so passionate about the work Ella and the Open Country team do and I was thrilled to be able to help. To have grown 5,000 plug plants is a fantastic result and one the volunteers should be so proud of. The money raised will help so many across Yorkshire living with disabilities and encourage more biodiversity into a number of different places across the county.”

Ella Dixon, Open Country's Wild About Wakefield Project Officer adds: "So far over 3,000 plug plants have found new homes around the district – some have gone into private gardens and some have gone into the wider countryside to help increase the wildflower meadows. All the plants will flower into beautiful colours and provide much needed food for butterflies and bees this summer."

The charity is asking for donations for the plug plants and has plants still available to purchase. The money raised will be reinvested into conservation projects in the future.

Ella continues: "The Tuesday Nature Force Group are looking forward to getting back out there together this summer, hopefully increasing the group size and returning to tasks in the local countryside. We have got a really exciting programme of projects to work on including helping to increase biodiversity in churchyards, digging new wildlife ponds and creating a new 500m accessible path in Wakefield’s Coxley Woods. We will continue our wildflower project alongside these other activities as we know how important it is to create more habitats for our wildlife."

For anyone who would like to help the charity, pre-order some of their wildflower plugs or request the services of the Nature Force group, contact Ella at wakefield@opencountry.org.uk or visit their website www.opencountry.org.uk