Fun and educational wildflower planting

Three pupils enjoying their involvement in the planting of donated wildflower plugs around the lake at Kirkharle.
Three pupils enjoying their involvement in the planting of donated wildflower plugs around the lake at Kirkharle.

Pupils from three Northumberland schools have helped to give the area around Capability Brown’s serpentine lake at Kirkharle a floral boost.

A private donor has generously provided 2,000 wildflower plugs for the attraction from Naturescape in Nottingham, a specialist grower of native seeds and wildflowers.

Included in the mix are field scabious, foxgloves, ragged robin, great burnet, bladder campion, primroses and cowslips, joining a host of 18th century white daffodils and a new white bench from Lost Art garden furniture in Lancashire.

Tree and flower planting will soften both the meadow and the lake water margins, in keeping with Capability Brown’s original designs for the estate discovered in 1980 by the estate’s owner, John Anderson.

Cambo First School, Belsay School and Hexham Priory School have been involved with the planting project.

Helen Armstrong, teacher at Belsay School, said: “The children loved the planting experience.

“They enjoyed being outside, learning to take responsibility through caring for the small plug plants and benefiting from a physical activity that enabled them to do something fun and productive.

“Exploring Kirkharle also gave them the opportunity to meet helpful and inspirational adults like Angus McTavish, who told them about their local environment, the flower pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, and the insects that then benefit the birds.”

Access to the lake is free and there are a range of shops at Kirkharle Courtyard.