Meadow creation, the people power way

Wednesday 29th October 2014

On the 7th October the volunteers of Urban Roots completed the preparation of the Toryglen meadow through grass clearance and seed sowing.

Using rakes, chromes, forks and wheelbarrows, we scarified and cleared as much of the grasses and topsoil that we could. This process opens up the space for the wildflower seed to germinate and establish. Furthermore, it takes some of the highly fertile organic matter off the site, which is something many of the wildflower species do not grow well in, as they have to compete with fast growing grasses and plants which thrive in fertile conditions.

Once we had prepared the soil (and removed a large number of rocks and litter from within it!) we then cast the last of our native wildflower seed onto the earth and stamped it in with our feet. We were lucky enough to have a stunning day of sunshine to accompany our work, which made things a pleasure. However, having had very dry conditions for a few weeks before, it ended up raining the day after our seed sowing; perhaps that bodes well for the germination of these seeds. Only time will tell!

I am extremely happy to report that, during our volunteer meadow creation sessions, we have had 16 volunteers (both adults and young people) come out to generously put their time and efforts into its creation. On top of this we had several passers-by stop and ask what we were doing, thus ensuring that those who enjoy and engage with the site most often will see the positive changes to the flora that the volunteers have started to enact.

The meadow creation sessions have been a great example of the efficacy of people power to make real changes to local green spaces. Besides one hour of using a petrol mower and strimmer, all of the work was done by hand, from grass clearance to litter removal; a testament to people power and sustainable conservation methods. This project has been an example of the ability of communities to enact change to their local landscape by working together.

It is worth noting, however, that it was not just adults who have contributed to the creation of this site! School children from the local primary came and planted 120 wildflower plugs later on in October. Check back next time to find out what they did, and why.