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1:55 PM 16th April 2021
nature

The Heroes Helping To Re-wild Wakefield

Open Country member Zika and volunteer Catherine with a small selection of the 5,000 wildflower plug plants
Open Country member Zika and volunteer Catherine with a small selection of the 5,000 wildflower plug plants
A local charity has grown 5,000 wildflower plug plants in a bid to help re-wild the Wakefield district.

Members of Open Country's Nature Force group are involved in a wide range of conservation projects aimed at improving the environment for people and wildlife across Yorkshire. The group launched its Wildflower project in summer 2020 when Covid restrictions limited their wider activities. Based at the polytunnels in Thornes Park the group planted the seeds in September with volunteers watering them and protecting them from the frost throughout the autumn and winter.

Ella Dixon is Open Country's Wild About Wakefield Project Officer and says:
"So far over 3,000 plug plants have found new homes around the district – some have gone in private gardens and some have gone into the wider countryside to help increase the wildflower meadows. All the plants will flower into beautiful colours and provide much needed food for butterflies and bees this summer."

The charity is asking for donations for the plug plants and has around 600 plants still available to purchase. The money raised will be reinvested into conservation projects in the future.

Open Country Nature Force members show off some of the wildflower plug plants they have grown
Open Country Nature Force members show off some of the wildflower plug plants they have grown
Ella continues:
"The Nature Force Group are looking forward to getting back out there together this summer, hopefully increasing the group size and returning to tasks in the local countryside. We've got a really exciting programme of projects to work on including helping to increase biodiversity in churchyards, digging new wildlife ponds and creating a new 500m accessible path in Coxley Woods. We will continue our wildflower project alongside these other activities as we know how important it is to create more habitats for our wildlife."

As well as it's conservation groups, Open Country runs weekly activities including tandeming, countryside walks and wheelchair friendly outings to enable people with a disability to access and enjoy the countryside.

To pre-order some of the charity's wildflower plug plants including vetch, corncockle, poppies and chamomile or to request the services of the Nature Force group, contact Ella at wakefield@opencountry.org.uk or call 07426 716677. More information can be found at www.opencountry.org.uk