Seaford is renaturing thanks in part to the new mowing regime introduced by Seaford Town Council, supported by “On The Verge” and others environmental groups.
Parts of the Sea Meadows and the Salts have been given back to nature and left unmown throughout the spring and summer. The change is stunning!
Just look at Pump Field (the one nearest to Seaford Head). Last year over 40 different types of flowering plant were found by botanical surveyors, and this year they expect to find more – quite a challenge for local sixth formers following in their footsteps! More plant variety means more insect variety. An “On the Verge” member recently saw over 20 butterflies of 5 different species in just 15 minutes, all feeding on the ample nectar supplies now available to them thanks to reduced mowing.
Meanwhile at Martello Field, common coastal plants such as Thrift and Strawberry Clover are back where they belong – in fields by the coast! And just 6 weeks after the new mowing regime began, a single Pyramidal Orchid bloomed in the Covers, the field straddling College Road.
Throughout the town residents have allowed their verges to run riot whilst gardeners hand over sections of their lawns and vegetable patches to nature, increasing biodiversity by providing homes and food for our beleaguered wildlife. But those renatured areas need care. They must be mown in Autumn and cuttings removed if they are to flourish next Spring. Removing the cuttings mimics the work of grazers, such as rabbits, who would naturally remove grass over the summer.
If residents and the Town Council continue to work together that single orchid on College Road will herald the future and Seaford will become part of the natural community that is the South Downs.
If you would like to meet up to find out more about how you can help, please do get in touch with us, or other local groups. You can now share your photos and stories on the Renaturing Seaford Facebook page, and a website will follow shortly.
Published in Seaford Scene in September 2022