Mentmore Road playing fields (Mentmore Park)

The wildflower site is on the far side of the playing fields on Mentmore Road, up the small slope next to the canal.

In December 2013 the area was cleared of turf by Town Council ground staff and members of South Bedfordshire Friends, and the new area was planted up with a mixture of plants and seeds, mainly cornfield annuals, with some perennials around.

The grass around the wildflower bed was left long for nesting and hibernation for ladybirds, bees, beetles etc.

 

The annuals looked really good during the first year.

 

 

By 2015, perennials such as red campion and stitchwort were establishing well.

 

We started to encourage more perennials but had problems as the oxeye daises took over and smothered other plants, so we thinned them out and added other plants where they had been.

Over the last two years we have widened the range of perennial wildflowers there, with primroses, knapweed, bird’s foot trefoil, tree mallows, knapweed, wild geranium, red campion, teasel, comfrey and wild marjoram.

The long grass was excellent for grasshoppers and beetles and hibernation for bees and butterflies,  but not so good for Yarrow, so the cutting regime will change to include some areas having a Spring cut.

We have a lot of interest and support from members of the public when we work there. There is a good educational balance with the Linslade Memorial Gardens to demonstrate the wide range of habitats that help bees, in accordance with the National Pollinator Strategy, with mainly garden flowers that are good for pollinators in the Memorial Gardens, and a less structured area with more wildflowers and areas suitabe for hibernation quite near by.