Volunteers plant 'grass beating' seeds to boost wildflower growth
14 November 2019Volunteers have helped Cheshire West and Chester Council sow ‘grass beating’ seeds that will boost wildflower displays at Weaver Parkway in Winsford.
Yellow Rattle seeds have been planted with the help of the Friends of Weaver Parkway group in the Railway Meadow.
Yellow Rattle (Rhinanthus minor) is an attractive annual wildflower whose roots weaken surrounding grasses, reducing their growth by as much as 50 per cent when established. This allows other wildflowers to grow and spread without being swamped by grass.
Yellow rattle germinates late February to early March, flowers in June, and sets seed in July. At the end of each growing season as the annual plants die away they leave behind gaps into which new wild flowers can establish. As a result, wild flower seed will establish more readily in areas where yellow rattle already does well.
The Council’s Director of Place Operations, Maria Byrne said: “A small quantity of seed was planted after the existing Yellow Rattle on the site was destroyed in a grass fire some years ago. This has been very successful to the extent that its seed has now been harvested and sown throughout the site to increase its presence.
“Many thanks to the volunteers from the ‘Friends of Weaver Parkway’ for all their helping in harvesting and sowing the seeds this autumn. I’m looking forward to seeing the wonderful wildflower displays next year.”
This work supports the Council’s Climate Emergency agenda as it continues to work with partners, businesses and communities to develop a borough-wide response to tackle the Climate Emergency.