Holnicote's new wildflower meadow

Wildflower meadow at Holnicote Estate

The rangers at Holnicote Estate have been busy working at Selworthy Farm to improve the farm for wildlife and our local tenants.

A big part of the work is about improving the conditions of the grassland and the habitat for birds and beasties. An exciting part of the project was to sow 2.5 acres with wildflower seed last autumn, and this summer we saw the result. The first part of this project was done is partnership with the Devon Wildlife Trust.

The meadow was planted with yellow rattle, oxeye daisy, eyebright, meadow vetchling and birds foot trefoil all of which are meadow flowers that support local pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

Some of the plants even have additional benefits in helping the wildflower meadow develops and grow. Yellow rattle is a useful wildflower for establishing new meadows as they are semi-parasitic. They feed off grasses and prevent them from taking over, this in turn allows some of the delicate flowers to grow instead. Some of the species of brighteye are also parasitic and feed off the nutrients in the roots of grasses and stops them from dominating the meadow and helps make way for more dainty plants.

Some of the plants like bird’s foot trefoil and ragged robin are great for supporting pollinators.

The meadow was cut by the local tenants and we are hoping to see even more wildflowers back next year. This will potentially give us more seed which we can use to spread around the estate and start to improve the conditions of lowland meadows on the estate.

A mass of eyebright flowers on chalk grassland
A mass of eyebright flowers on chalk grassland
A mass of eyebright flowers on chalk grassland