CharlesFlower_Workshop1Workshoppers in Long Mead.
Photo Catriona Bass


A Workshop with Charles Flower on Meadow Creation.

Emily Terry from Pinkhill Farm reflects:

On the 9th July, Charles Flower and his daughter, Sarah, held a workshop at Long Mead, providing insight into the restoration and establishment of wildflower meadows. The group of about 20 came from nearby surrounding areas, each with common endeavours to restore wildflowers areas. From Oxford College gardeners, to Eynsham villagers working with 20x20m patches of land, to the landscape scale of the Thames Valley Widlflower Meadow Restoration Project,  the diverse group shared their common passion.

Talking together, we were able to learn about the techniques needed to achieve restorations goals, for example, knowing when to top the crop to ensure enough light reaches the seeds below the earlier flowering plants. We also felt a real sense of community cohesion, with everyone doing their part in creating corridors and steppingstones for wildlife to thrive in. The Workshop demonstrated the creativity and energy that can be achieved by the Nature Recovery network approach, which connects people from different worlds.

I really felt the importance of passing knowledge down through generations throughout the day, with Charles passing his knowledge down to his daughter, and getting to know other family farmers moving towards sustainability.

I myself feel incredibly lucky to be staying in Eynsham this month, working towards the same aims as my forward-thinking Grandmother, who grew up in Austria surrounded by wildflower meadows which, with intensified farming, she saw disappear throughout her lifetime. She bought Pinkhill Farm in 1987 with a vision of bringing back wildflowers and allowing hedgerows to grow out, attracting nesting birds. With my uncle and his family seeing this legacy through, we are able to continue to move away from the stereotypical idea of farming, increasing carbon sequestration and creating a biodiverse environment.

Join us for Workshop II from Charles Flower: Propagating Wildflowers, July 20th 10am to 1pm.