As part of the Town Council’s Climate Emergency Action Plan it was agreed that the Council should protect and enhance native species and habitats, promoting and supporting opportunities for environmental enhancement and regeneration.
Since 2018 the Town Council has introduced 3 unique areas of wildflowers and, with the help of numerous local volunteers, planted swathes of native woodland bulbs across Bourton Park. All of the species have been carefully chosen by our knowledgeable Estates Manager to ensure they were native to the UK and well suited to the environment in which they were planted.
The wildflower meadows have proven extremely popular with visitors to the park, receiving lots of positive comments across social media and in the local newspaper.
Since the coronavirus pandemic led to restrictions on people’s movements and activities, many have learned to see their surroundings with fresh eyes, and have come to view the streets and parks where they live in a new light, discovering walks, trails and landmarks they had not realised were there before.
In 2020, in order to enhance visitors’ enjoyment of the park the Town Council’s Environment Committee agreed to install wildflower illustration boards, fixed at regular intervals, to the new fencing surrounding the junior play area in Bourton Park. Each board displays a watercolour illustration and short description of a native wildflower species, commonly found in Buckingham.
The panels provide further information or insight into the importance of wildflowers to our environment and entice visitor’s sense of curiosity and discovery and inform people as to the strong cultural bonds that exist with species such as:
Yellow Rattle (Rhinanthus minor)
‘And where high grasses wave Shall great moon-daisies blink’ With rattle and sorrel sharp And Robin’s ragged pink’– Robert Bridges, “The Idle Flowers”
Often used to create a bright yellow dye, Yellow Rattle’s striking bright yellow flowers with white lips are a sight to behold. When you brush through a wildflower meadow at the height of summer and you’ll hear the seeds of this flower rattling in their brown pods, this is why it is called Yellow Rattle.
Another excellent example of wildlife education boards can be found in Scott’s Lane, Maids Moreton, where the local conservation group have commissioned local artists to create 12 monthly illustrations raising awareness of the different kinds of wildlife in the environment where the panel is situated. One of the local artists, Fiona Hancock has created 9 beautiful watercolour images of our chosen flowers for use on the Bourton Park illustration boards.