Updated: Oct 1, 2021
The Marlbrook Estate is blessed with large open spaces, green verges and a superb community spirit. There is scope to allow areas around the estate to go back to beautiful wild meadow. The idea came back in May when the large green was awash with buttercups, daisies, bees and other pollinators buzzing around. Then the contracted mowing started up and all was knocked back. It was such a shame to lose this beautiful nature, there are many varieties of wildflower living within the grasses such as wild mallow, oxeye daisy, buttercup and red clover to name a few. It would be great to allow them to flourish and create a real feature, with paths running through and sitting areas around. 97% of Britain's wildflower meadows have been lost since WW2. Bee populations are declining and many species of wildflower are in danger of disappearing. 'Re-wilding' spaces like this will make a small step towards providing the new habitats required for the various insects and pollinators that live within them. Pollinators are vital to our wider ecosystem and wildflower meadows are also beautiful areas to enjoy that can turn otherwise dull verges into a sea of colour.
We hope the project will bring together residents and the wider community to enjoy the spaces created. We also plan to run activities and workshops to educate and engage people into the environment around us. We are keen to implement traditional scything and haymaking processes, run wildflower drawing sessions and educational talks which will be open to people of all ages and ability.
The project is led by Marlbrook residents, Josh Robinson-Ward and Andrea Brewer, and is supported by the Watlington Climate Action Group, Watlington Environment Group and Watlington in Bloom.