NHSN volunteers plant 2000 wildflowers at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve

Last weekend, a committed band of NHSN volunteers worked tirelessly to plant 2000 native wildflower plugs at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve.

With blissful, sunny weather and an accompanying soundtrack of vocal Nuthatches and yaffling Green Woodpeckers, Saturday’s volunteer session at Gosforth Park was a roaring success. Not least because the fine springlike conditions made for an enjoyable day, but because our volunteers were successful in their attempt to plant some 2000 wildflowers in the space of just three hours – no easy feat!

Supported by tools and equipment generously provided to NHSN by the Community Foundation serving Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, volunteers were able to create numerous planted drifts throughout the wooded areas of the site – planting single species and mixed-species swaths which, as they mature, will paint the woodland a kaleidoscopic mix of reds, blues, whites and pleasant yellows.

The woodlands of Gosforth Park Nature Reserve were planted by man atop land previously dominated by lowland heath. This means that the wildflower community normally associated with aged woodland sites has yet to develop naturally at the site. With the support of the
ladies of the Gosforth Park Ladies Club – a strand of the Northumberland Golf Club – who generously raised £965 in support of the project, we have now taken our first steps to speeding up this process.

The wildflowers planted over the weekend represent a mix of native woodland species. Among these, iconic, colourful blooms such as English Bluebell, Wild Daffodil and Wild Garlic. These aside, however, thanks to the aforementioned donation, we were also able to source a suite of other species, all set to greatly diversify the ground flora of the reserve. Among these: Wood Forget-Me-Not, Red Campion, Herb Robert, Hedge Woundwort and Primrose. All plugs were sourced from Cumbria Wildflowers – a quality supplier of native plants operated in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly manner.

We very much hope that the volunteers and supporters involved in the current scheme will enjoy seeing the fruits of their hard work bloom, seed and (hopefully) spread over the coming years. Equally, we hope that visitors to the reserve will enjoy this most recent addition to the biodiversity of our beloved wild space.