Three, volunteer buddies, Alan, Paul and Kenny, known affectionately as the “waistcoat lads” (as their trade mark attire are waistcoats depicting British birds) have, in the past, lent their green fingers to planting nectar plants for many varied projects that the Heart of Durham Project has been involved with in partnership with Butterfly Conservation and Northumbrian Water PLC.
This year they will be involved with a new project that starts at the end of the year, when they help the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership’s current project “Plugging the Gaps”
From mid-June until September volunteers with the North Pennines AONB will be out collecting wildflower seeds such as wood crane’s-bill, great burnet, globeflower, ragged robin and water avens. These seeds will then be sown in seed trays and nurtured before they are planted as plug plants in meadows within the North Pennines AONB in September 2018.
The small nursery area at Low Barns, used to nurture thousands of marsh violet plants for the small pearl-bordered fritillary project, will be used as a temporary nursery for “Plugging the Gaps” seeds. Alan, Paul and Kenny will, after training, be joining the North Pennines volunteers in sowing and tending the young wildlflower seedlings for a year here at Low Barns.
So in preparation for September the friends decided that the existing plant area at Low Barns needed a makeover with plant shelves re-figured and re-positioned to allow the seeds the maximum amount of light. As they will also be sowing the seeds into trays for germination the friends have designed a work bench at just the right height for sowing and potting on. So now all is ready.