Caring for the environment

Reduce - Reuse - Recycle  

The following items can be dropped off in the storage bench outside the Reading Room:

  • batteries; biscuits; blister packaging; bread bags; cheese; confectionary; cosmetics; crisp packets (flattened); Ferrero Rocher boxes; pens; Pringles tubes (inc lids); printer cartridges; Marigold gloves; toothbrushes (inc electrical); toothpaste tubes (cleaned); water filters.

These are recycled by Terracycle and raise money for Wiltshire Air Ambulance and Medic to Medic. 

Making Space for Nature

Concern about loss of habitat and declines in wildlife led Grimstead Parish Council to support an initiative by the village nature group to increase biodiversity: the Nectar Bars.  In October 2019, work began to scarify four strips around the edge of the village green, sow wildflower seeds and leave them unmown for a year. To the group's delight, the hard work paid off...

In June 2020, an astonishing 42 different species of plant were identified growing in the Nectar Bars.  Some had been planted, but others had been there all the time waiting for an opportunity to pop up: 

Daisy; Bugle; Common Mouse Ear; Common Sorrel; Creeping Cinquefoil; Creeping Buttercup; Meadow Buttercup; Dandelion; Hogweed; Cow Parsley; Marsh Cudweed; Red Clover; White Clover; Speedwell; Spear Thistle; Ribwort Plantain; Yarrow;  Greater Plantain; Bird's-foot Trefoil; Wild Strawberry; Cuckoo Flower; Crow Garlic;  Knapweed;  Betony; Small Scabious; Hop Trefoil; Teasel; Hawkbit; Forget-me-not;  Lesser Bindweed; Thyme-leaved Speedwell; Yellow Rattle; Selfheal; Ground Ivy; Red Dead-nettle; Oxeye Daisy; Field Woodrush;  False Oat-grass; Cocksfoot; Yorkshire Fog; Lesser Catstail; Timothy; Devil’s-bit scabious; Hemp-agrimony.

Happily, many insects were seen ‘nectaring’ on these new plants. In June 2019, when the green was all grass, a 20 minute bioblitz revealed two blackbirds and no insects.   In June 2020, when the Nectar Bars were in full bloom, 60 minute bioblitz identified: 

Butterflies (Meadow Brown, Small Skipper, Small White, Small Tortoiseshell, Large White, Marbled White); Grasshoppers; Hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus; Hoverfly Scaeva pyrastri; Hoverfly Syrphus ribsesii; Hoverfly sphaerophora scriptaĺ; x2 Ichneumon species; x5 Beetles species (including Oedemera nobilis, 7- Spot Ladybird and Corymbia rubra); Blackbirds; House Sparrows; Blue Tit; Small Flower Bees; Honeybees; Solitary Mining bee; x5 Bumblebee species (including Early, Common Carder and White-tailed); Wolf Spiders; Nursery- web spiders; x3 species of Flies; Speckled Bush-cricket (Photos Diana Cotter)

In 2021 the nectar bars were amazing! Though only in their second year, the flowers are establishing really well. Over 40 wildflower species have been recorded this year, and these have provided both food and shelter for many species of insects, and birds too.

Of the 11 species of Butterflies recorded, 8 have been seen laying eggs in the nectar bars, including a Grizzled Skipper, which are classed as a priority species for conservation.  Beetles, spiders, bugs and grasshoppers have all made it their permanent home, needing both the flowers and taller grasses to survive. Birds have been feeding on the seeds, including Goldfinches and House Sparrows.
There is still more work to do. Grass still dominates some of the nectar bars, so annual Yellow Rattle seeds will be sown again this Autumn, plus the 300 wildflower plants that have been grown especially for the nectar bars will be planted out. Please contact Diana or Rosie if you can help with the planting!

Pond Life

The small pond opposite the Reading Room was dug out in Autumn 2019 thanks to a group of volunteers from the village, Bentley Wood and Hazel Hill Wood. Both village ponds need annual maintenance to offer good wildlife habitats and remain attractive features of the village.

If you would like to join the nature group and get involved with these and other projects, please contact