The journey so far
The launch of our Wildflower & Wetlands Project this Summer has been facilitated by 18 months of preparations including mowing, weeding and sowing to establish wildflower meadow at Abbots Grange. This follows successful completion of the Badsey Brook flood alleviation scheme in cooperation with the Environment Agency which disrupted the landscape over the course of several years and was completed in Summer 2019.
Abbots Grange is set in 7 acres of land. The plan below identifies the various parcels of land that are included in our wildflower meadow and wetlands project. The grounds nearer to the property are to be retained as more formal gardens. Guests at Abbots Grange are able to walk through the formal gardens and access the project areas via a network of mown pathways.
Stage 1 of the project focusses on the establishment of perennial wildflowers in the Meadow area (see plan). This is a low-lying basin of 0.41 hectares in size which has been sown with a hardy mix of plants that are well-suited to wetter soil conditions. Subsequent stages of the project will look to establish more areas of wildflower meadow in the Uplands, upon the Island and on the Bund. The Wetlands are currently to be retained as a wild area where taller wetland vegetation provides cover for all manner of birds and wildlife.
UPDATE: Monday 23rd May 2022
Today we welcomed Anna Field from the Glorious Cotswold Grasslands Project at Cotswolds National Landscape to Abbots Grange to conduct a full botanical survey of the site.
Anna identified various species of wildflower have now been established in the Meadow area (stage 1 of the project) including an abundance of knapweed, bird’s-foot trefoil, field scabious, ladies bedstraw and hedge bedstraw. We additionally planted 5 mature oak trees in the Meadow during 2019 which are now well established. These slow-growing trees are capable of supporting over 2000 species of insects, birds, mammals, flora and fungi.
This Summer look forward to seeing the Meadow come into its first bloom. In late August, Anna and her team will bring a seed-harvester onto the site before volunteers from Huffkins assist with hay cutting and baling before the Winter. The seeds will be dried and made available to sow in other areas of the property, distributed for customers to sow at home in affiliated Huffkins products and donated to other local sites that are looking to establish a similar mix of species.
Additionally, the survey extended to the Island, Bund and Uplands areas of the site. Anna discovered that the Island is currently dominated by thistles, bristly ox-tongue and greater willow herb with some notable examples of scarlett pimpernel, yellow flag iris and some unusual vetches.
View of the Island and Wetlands beyond at Abbots Grange 23 May 2022
The Uplands are dominated by a healthy mix of grasses interspersed with some interesting additions including sorrel and mouse-eared chickweed. There is significant opportunity to turn mown lawn areas over to create extra areas of wildflower meadow whilst retaining the large formal gardens around the house.
View of the Uplands at Abbots Grange 23rd May 2022
We are very grateful to Anna Field and her team at Glorious Cotswolds Grasslands Project for their advice and assistance as we embark on this exciting journey. We look forward to providing another update soon...
Our company is working to establish, maintain and grow a wildflower meadow and wetland nature reserve in the heart of the Cotswolds.
Just 80 years ago, 40% of the Cotswolds was covered in wildflower-rich limestone grasslands. Tragically with agricultural expansion this type of habitat now covers less than 1.5% of the Cotswolds and many of the plants and animals that depend on these habitats have greatly declined. The seeds we sow will grow into pollinator friendly flowers that help bees, butterflies and other wildlife in our local area.
Our wildflower meadow and wetland nature reserve is located at the historic Abbots Grange hotel in Broadway, Worcestershire which we run as a sister company to Huffkins. We are working in collaboration with experts at the Glorious Cotswolds Grasslands Project. Acquired by the family in 1998, this magnificent Grade II* Listed medieval property was built in c1320 as the summer residence for the Abbot of Pershore. The AA 5 star rated manor house offers exclusive accommodation and serves many of our freshly baked goods, preserves, teas and
Ways to help
Look out for items bearing the golden bee logo on our tea room menu. For every eligible item purchased, Huffkins will sow 1 square metre of pollinator friendly flower seeds in the Abbots Grange wildflower meadow.