Spotlight on… Wildflower Lewes

Wildflower Lewes is proud to be affiliated with Lewes Climate Hub.  It has become clear that there is a biodiversity crash amongst invertebrates, including the pollinators on which around 35% of our food depends.  In part, this is caused by the loss of natural habitats that support invertebrates with food and a home, which in turn feed other animals up the food chain.  We have lost 97% of our wildflower meadows since the 1930s, and habitat loss is increasing with climate change, and other impacts of humans on the natural environment.  

We aim to bring wildflowers into our urban setting, hosted by public and private green spaces, to provide habitat for a wide range of invertebrates and the other wildlife, like reptiles, birds and mammals, that are dependent on them.    

Our work so far

Working with the three Councils, we have enabled wildflowers to proliferate at a growing number of sites in Lewes. More sites are being suggested to us by the public each season. This is helping us move towards our goal of having wildflower ‘stepping stones’ forming corridors right across the town.  

In autumn 2020, we worked with volunteers to plant over 1,300 wildflower plug plants along seven roadside verges and Nevill Green banks.  Most were grown for us by the Millennium Seed Bank in Wakehurst. Local volunteers also sowed and grew small plants as part of the effort to make a step change to these green spaces. At the end of 2020, there were areas being managed for wildflowers on 17 LDC-owned sites (including a large area of Lewes Cemetery), many of which have been plug planted. Highways verges along nine roads are also being managed for wildflowers, seven of which we have enhanced with plug plants.  There are also privately managed wildflower sites at the Depot Cinema and on Baron’s Down Estate. 

What’s next

In 2021, we want to work with community groups to sow, grow and plant out more wildflower plug plants – a programme that had to be abandoned last year because of Covid 19. These will add to what has already been achieved, enhance additional green spaces, and support more insects and wildlife throughout the town.  We are encouraging more neighbourhoods to suggest other roadside verges and green spaces for the wildflower treatment, and we will support them to achieve a wildflower site near them.