Earlier this year we launched a homegrown initiative to attract more wildlife to our neighbouring fields and trees. We called it 'upwilding', and it's designed to not only make the land more appealing to local wildlife, but to also make it more inhabitable for them whilst they're there. It also means that our scruffy fields are a lot nicer to look at for us humans!
Together with George and the children we built the Cupsmith wildlife hotel and sanctuary on our 5 acre site, using old coffee pallets, bricks, sticks and cardboard (see above). Then we enrolled the help of my niece, a qualified ecologist, to make wildflower seedballs, which we threw into the fields with carefree abandon before sitting tight for a few months to see what happens.
Making seedballs at home by hand
So what has become of them? Well, happily, they've grown! And they've brought all sorts of butterflies and birds to our fields. This morning I trotted off down to the meadow to take some pictures to show you all. I even managed to track down the names of some of them - aren't they all so very Cupsmith?
Lesser Stitchwort: looks like tiny daisies and flowers right through to September
Meadow Brown butterfly
Meadow buttercup standing tall in the morning sun
It is so exciting to see that our efforts have paid off and our enthusiasm has been rewarded. We might be novices at this, but it seems to be working. I urge you to have a go yourself - it really is fun and kids love it, too. Let us know if you do start your own upwilding project: write to us, share tips, take photos... We'd love to see!
Bindweed: hated by gardeners but loved by insects, so we've let ours grow in the meadow
A field full of wild grass and white and pink Yarrow
Wild grasses hide a Marbled White butterfly (look closely!)
For more ideas and information on how you can support the countryside and wildlife near you, visit the Wildlife Trusts website.