Volunteers with Transition Marlborough, who look after the 8 Community Orchard sites around the town, spent Sunday September 12 planting yellow rattle seed and wildflowers at the Diamond Jubilee Plantation on the Common where Hyde Lane meets Frees Avenue. Known as the “meadow maker” and “nature’s mower”, the rattle flowers generally out-compete the usually dominant grasses thereby allowing the space for a vast range of wildflowers to thrive.
The Diamond Jubilee Plantation has 25 trees growing ancient Wiltshire apple varieties and it is hoped that the planting will add nectar for pollinators and encourage wildlife. The project has full cooperation from the Town Council and mowing was reduced through the summer to increase plant life and benefit insects.
Marlborough Community Orchard was born from the inspiration of a group of volunteers who envisioned a town among fruit trees, mainly apple, and wanted to help halt the decline in native trees. It is now overseen by Transition Marlborough. The group, aside from the regular tree-caring activities throughout the year, is now managing the Diamond Jubilee Plantation with the aim of improving biodiversity.
Jo Ripley said, “We’re looking forward to seeing the yellow rattle flowers and then, later next summer to hearing the rattle of their ripened seeds – hence the name – and of course their success in clearing the way for more wildflower seeds and flowers to help our beleaguered wildlife.”
Milly Carmichael says that the group is very appreciative of donations which have helped fund the purchase of seed and plants. The group has also received guidance from Meadowmania, based in Marlborough.
Transition Marlborough welcomes anyone who wants to be involved with anything apple-related – or other TM projects. For more information, visit the website here.