Wildflower Plug Planting
As the proverb goes, “many hands make light work’ and in early October 2020 some twenty volunteers proved this by sorting and planting over 1900 British native wildflower plug plants in a mere eight hours, over four days, at six sites across the Parish. The plugs were supplied by British Flora (based in Hanley Castle).
Seventeen suitable species, typical of short flowering grassland, were selected and different combinations were chosen to suit each site’s character and conditions:
Agrimony, Bird's Foot Trefoil, Black Knapweed, Cat's Ear, Common Sorrel, Cowslip, Greater Stitchwort, Lady's Bedstraw, Meadow Buttercup, Meadow Vetchling, Oxeye Daisy, Perforate St John's Wort, Red Clover, Ribwort Plantain, Self-heal, Teasel, Tufted Vetch, Wild Carrot.
Yellow Rattle seed was scattered on some sites to help reduce grass vigour and give the wildflowers a chance to establish. The sites will be monitored over the next year to see how they do.
Yellow Rattle seed. Picture from Emorsgate Seeds
Above: the plants arrived boxed and were then unpacked and sorted into plant groups, before being distributed to the different sites.
Below: Volunteers then planted them into ground that had been mown short, raked off and scarified.
Ground Source Heat Pumps
Ever thought of installing a heat pump? Now might be the right time.
Ground source heat pumps derive energy from the sun warming the ground. There are two systems:
a series of pipes buried horizontally approximately 1 metre underground
a deep vertical borehole, up to 100 metres
The heat absorbed is then used to warm your home.
Home owners with ground source heat pumps are eligible for the Renewable Heating Incentive (RHI) – a financial incentive paid over seven years. This RHI expires in March 2022.
Alternatively £5,000 - £10,000 energy efficiency vouchers can be used towards the capital cost of installing a heat pump. These vouchers expire in March next year. It is one or the other, you can not have both grants.
There are several residents interested in moving to this technology. They are planning to sequence the installations with the intention of reducing some of the costs. Please get in touch is you would like to know more.