Garden designer plants key ideas with schoolchildren

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YOUNGSTERS will be helping to raise awareness of the plight of wildflowers with a pocket garden they will create for one of the country’s leading flower shows.

Pupils from Bainbridge Primary School, in Leyburn, are teaming up with the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust and award-winning garden designer Chris Myers to showcase the natural beauty of early-blooming wildflowers.

They will have a plot of just one square metre for the Harrogate Spring Flower Show’s pocket garden category, but dozens of native species to choose from including lords and ladies, stinking hellebore and wild daffodils.

The children will learn about the different habitats the plants grow in – from grassland and hedgerows to verges – and how they co-exist.

Between 1930 and 1980, 97 per cent of wildflower meadows were lost across England and Wales, with pressures from agriculture and development, together with neglect, continuing to impact the remaining areas.

Their decline has had a knock on for the insects, bumble bees and other pollinators that have evolved to feed from them.

A spokeswoman said: “We just thought it would be nice to focus on Spring flowers because they are overlooked and yet they are vital for extending the foraging period for insects by providing nectar early in the Springtime. Part of the project is to raise awareness of the fact lots of wildflowers are under threat.”

Mr Myers, who is an ambassador for YDMT, will help the children select the best elements and ideas to include in the final design, before offering expert advice to help the team source and nurture the plants.

The children will be sowing some of the seeds themselves and pricking out others so the plants flower in time for the April show.

He said: “We are so lucky to have the Dales as our backyard. The wildflowers found there constantly wow me and are such an important part of this stunning environment.”

YDMT’s Flowers of the Dales Festival, which includes more than 100 public events to raise awareness of the range and importance of wildflower habitats in the Dales, runs from March to November.

For a free programme call YDMT on 015242 51002 or email info@ydmt.org.