Coopers Field, Norfolk
John Chambers Wildflower Seed restores and enhances biodiversity in Norfolk.
Coopers Field in Norfolk was an overgrown and unkempt area when our client Jon purchased it in late 2020. However, as a landscape architect Jon recognised the potential to be a safe-haven for a range of insects and wildlife if given the necessary attention and care. Measuring an area of 1.5 acres, Coopers Field was half inhabited by thick 1.2m high brambles, with the other half consisting of scrub grass and bramble growths.
For the area to be ready to grow a blooming wildflower meadow, it required a lot of tidying up and cultivating. To begin with, the whole site was flail cut to clear the unwanted or harmful vegetation. Next up was the clearing of the bramble growth which the client was keen to do without the use of brushwood killer. To achieve this a tractor was used with a cultivator, creating three circular cultivated areas, and ripping up large root crowns to leave behind a good tilth in the process. There were a few areas of heavy bramble growth left behind, which were cut down with a mulching mower to eliminate regrowth and encourage grass to establish.
The result after this was three cultivated circles, one 30m in diameter and the other two 10m in diameter. Once cultivated areas are created, it is normal to hoe the area straight away but there were issues elsewhere on Coopers Field which meant hoeing didn’t take place immediately. The result of this was an extensive cover of weed growth establishing over the cultivated areas. The mulching mower was called into action again to cut the larger areas, whilst the smaller ones were cleared by hand.
For the next 3 months, the soil surface was rakedto clear debris (roots/stones etc.) and then hoed to remove further weed growth. Each cultivated circle was divided into metre wide rows using string. With the area of each row worked out Jon knew exactly how much seed to sow in each segment. The area was sown in Autumn 2021 and in early spring seedlings started to appear. From early June, the annual plants started to flower, followed in July and August by quite a few of the perennials, particularly Wild Carrot and Yarrow. The other perennials have also been establishing well, despite the extremely dry and hot conditions experienced in the summer of 2022.
The area sown was in excess of 900m2. John Chambers Wildflower Seed provided a Professional Dual Purpose 100% Wildflower Seed mix to meet the needs of the client and to suit the site too. This mix is used to attract a range of wildlife to an area and enhance biodiversity, whilst also adding a burst of colour at the same time. The client sowed this mix alongside dried sand as a carrier and other single species to bulk out the meadow and give it more of a full and luscious look. John Chambers Professional Dual-Purpose mix is a blend of native annual and perennial wildflower seeds and can be supplied with or without grass seed. It is ideal for use in areas where impact is required in the first growing season, the Cornfield Annual species including Poppy, Chamomile, Cornflower, Marigold, and Corncockle will come through to give that burst of colour, while the slower-growing perennial species such as Oxeye Daisy, Lady’s Bedstraw, Knapweed and Salad Burnet are all establishing, ready to really spring forth from Year 2 onwards. The annuals will normally only flower during Year 1, but you may still get a few appearing in subsequent years, from self-dispersal.
“This was a challenging project but one I really enjoyed, and now it is complete I’m delighted to see the amazing results. The Pro Dual Purpose 100% Wildflower Seed mix from John Chambers Wildflower Seed was perfect for what was needed. I now have three blooming and colourful wildflower meadows to enjoy on the field and I’m delighted that I saw this project through.” Jon, Landscape Architect