With pollinators in decline over the past few decades, WFEG had a brainstorming session in 2014 to see how we could enhance the parish to encourage pollinators to thrive. A popular scheme across the country was to develop corridors of pollination flowers aptly named “River of Flowers”.
Since then, we have invested over £20,000 in the project. The project really is a winner as it not only creates great spaces for pollinators, it also aesthetically enhances the local area in which we live.
We have two existing Rivers. The first is from Whittington School to Swan Bridge via Main Street. The second is from the Church to the Fisherwick Bridge via Fisherwick Road.
River 1 – the School to Swan Park
It starts one end where the school children have planted bulbs and wildflower seed opposite the school and ends with the magnificent Swan Meadow next door to Swan Park. Along the river we installed new stone troughs which are stocked with flowers which are in bloom for most of the year.
Pairs of troughs are located outside The Dog and at the Bus Stop in the “D” where Main Street meets Burton Road. Single troughs are located outside the Coop, the Chemist and The Bell. Common Lane is planted with wildflower and bulbs from the Bus stop to the school.
Langton Crescent and The Green is planted with spring bulbs. Burton Road has had approx. 10,000 crocus, snowdrops and daffodils planted to the grassed borders on Burton Road. There are also several winter flowering cherries. The Swan bridge verge is also well stocked with spring bulbs. Swan Meadow is the “piècede resistance” of the river and is located opposite the old Swan Pub site. It is a fine example of a Pictorial Meadow with rich colours and vibrant flowers. It is an outstanding space which is full of the noise of busy bees in summer and with its vibrant colours is a must see if you have not already visited.
Beyond this we now have the village entrance gardens on Burton Road by the railway bridge.
River 2 – The Church to Fisherwick Bridge
It starts on the corner of Church street and Back Lane and finishes at Fisherwick Bridge by the canal.
The verge along Fisherwick Road by the canal bridge has now got a set aside area which has been planted with Wildflowers. The main verge has been mass planted with crocus, snowdrops, Iris Reticulata, Wild Daffodils and many more flowering bulbs. There are also three winter flowering cherries.
The Bit End verge has been planted with Wild Daffodils and the verges outside the Hospice have been enhanced from existing planting with snowdrops, crocus and bluebells. Jubilee Park also sits adjacent to the river with its wildflower meadow. The Whittington Woodland has also had circa 10,000 crocus, snowdrops, wood anemone and bluebells planted in the last two years.
The Babbington verge is planted with Crocus. The scouts have planted many varieties of bulbs outside the scout hut which are looking great, and the Sunbeams planted many bulbs at the church hall.
Finally, the grass verge opposite the Baxters has had spring bulbs planted and winter flowering cherries.
We are now looking at creating further beautiful spaces which are pollinator friendly and aesthetically pleasing. if you have a green space by you that would be suitable, then get in touch.
Residents in Middleton Road (by the bungalows) requested some spring bulbs last year to brighten up a green verge space. Wfeg donated the bulbs and the residents planted them. The outcome has been wonderful and there have been many positive comments.
WFEG raises funds throughout the year at events such as the Open Gardens and Christmas Market where all funds are reinvested in village projects such as River of Flowers. We thank all our major sponsors who have contributed to River of Flowers over the years. These include Tesco (Carrier Bag fund), South Staffs Water Pebble fund, Whittington and Fisherwick Parish Council, Whittington Solar Array fund and Lendlease Foundation.
We have also received volunteer assistance from Balfour Beatty (HS2) for planting bulbs in the woodland. We also thank all the villagers for any donations given and it is only through these donations and the grant funding received that we are able to do what we do.
Last Autumn, WFEG and its volunteers planted 17,900 bulbs around the village. These included, Snowdrops, Crocus, Iris Reticulata, Wild Daffodils (English “Lent Lilly” and Welsh “Tenby”), Anemone Blanda, Chionodoxa, Allium, Bluebells and Wood Anemone.
In the previous five consecutive years we planted circa 10,000 bulbs per annum. WFEG and its volunteers happily given up their time to enhance our village over the past five years.
The visual effects are becoming more apparent each year and the notes of commendation are increasing. If you want to become a volunteer during next autumn (even for an hour) then watch out for the social media posts about events. It you want to assist financially; we would be very grateful
for your contribution.