The Mill Road site is just after the recreation ground on the left as you approach Church St and North St from the centre of town. The site is a small strip between the children’s play area and the road, and forms part of a much larger green space. It was one of the first four areas to be agreed by the Town Council when we set up Keep the Buzz in Leighton Buzzard, in autumn 2013.
Spencer Rail helped to dig the turf out when they were building the lifts at the station at the time, as part of their ‘Volunteering in the Community’ initiative. They did the heavy work of digging up the turf in December with members of South Beds Friends of the Earth to prepare the soil so that residents and their children could take part in planting seeds and wildflower plants.
In autumn 2015, a local resident Simone Aylward and her children collected wildflower seeds from other bee-friendly areas in the town to sow. We left seedheads and stems over the winter to follow the National Pollinator Strategy advice of ‘Leave perennial plants uncut over the winter as their hollow stems can shelter pollinators, or can be used as nesting sites the following year.’
In March 2016 we worked with local residents to start replacing the cornfield annuals with more perennials from native Bedfordshire seed, with funding from the Town Council to support increased biodiversity. These perennials have established well, to such an extent that we need to recut the edges of the plot to define it clearly, as the plants can be a bit over-exuberant at times!