Hopefully many of us will have seen the new “Re-wilding” signs around the churchyard and the lovely illustrated poster on the notice board explaining what we are doing at St Johns. We have Jane Stevenson and David Hunt to thank for these and we are hoping to now erect several more of the posters at the key entry points to the churchyard to further help to explain what is going on. Jane is now also involved with the wider Eco Church initiative and is great to have another enthusiastic, knowledgeable and creative source of inspiration.
Now that the unmown areas of wildflowers and chalkland grasses are growing and the grass paths more clearly visible we can start to see how the project is evolving. Most exciting in mid-July was discovering three beautiful Pyramid Orchids which to my knowledge have never been seen before under the old mowing regime, one particularly fine example is beside the small path from Trodds Lane on the North side. Other wildflowers include varieties of Vetch both yellow and the taller purple tufted variety and Oxe Eye daisies which have produced a wonderful display in June and July. The areas sown with a special chalkland flower and grass mix have frustratingly yet to show significant germination so we will have to review this for next year when the anticipation is to have greater variety and colour including cornflowers and poppies in our midst. Another idea is to plant more Spring bulbs this Autumn.
I meet with Karen, who carries out our mowing every 2 weeks at this time of year, to review the paths and mown areas and have met with several people who have graves that they visit to discuss refinements to what we are doing.
Peter Tappin. July 2021