Wildflower Lewes is a campaign to get Lewes buzzing with bees, fluttering with butterflies and brimming with stunning wildflowers. It’s being initiated by local councillors, wildlife groups and ecologists – and your help is needed too.
It’s a well-cited fact that there has been a 97% decline in wildflower meadows since WWII, which has serious implications for bees, butterflies and other insects and wildlife.
Lewes is lucky to be situated in chalk downland, which is rare worldwide, but locally abundant and particularly species-rich. So Wildflower Lewes has set out to ‘bring the Downs into the town’ by creating wildflower habitats throughout Lewes that will help support essential insect-life and biodiversity.
Photograph: Joanna Carter
Green Councillor Joanna Carter explains: “Our aim is to make stepping stones and corridors of beautiful wildflower habitat that will connect our town to the Downs and the rest of the countryside. As well as supporting these vital wild habitats, we want to give people an opportunity to enjoy and care for the nature on their doorstep, and create more colour throughout the town.”
The project brings together town and district councillors, Lewes District Council rangers, the Sussex Wildlife Trust, the Railway Land Wildlife Trust, and local ecologists and interested wildflower enthusiasts. It is also supported by the Brighton & Lewes Downs Biosphere.
How you can help
Wildflower Lewes is asking people in Lewes to help identify possible patches of land in their neighbourhood that they would like to see become wildflower spaces, with the opportunity to get involved in creating and looking after them.
Areas of council-owned land are also being assessed to see how they can be used to support natural wildflower habitats, for example through changes in mowing regimes and selective planting of native species.
Each new wildflower space will be recorded on a giant textile town-map at the Linklater Pavilion.
Dan Fagan, Community Ranger for Lewes District Council says: “In many ways the town of Lewes is like a barrier blocking insects and plants from travelling across the Downs or along the River Ouse. This project aims to make holes in that barrier by creating green paths and corridors that wildlife can use”.
Find out more
To nominate a wildflower space, get involved or simply learn more, search for ‘Wildflower Lewes’ on Facebook or visit wildflowersinlewes.wordpress.com.