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St Mary Bourne Parish Council

Hirst Meadow

The first project Sustainable Bourne Valley will be undertaking is to transform the parish council land at the top of Hirst Copse, which is unofficially being called Hirst Meadow, into a haven for wildlife to boost biodiversity and create much needed habitat for many threatened indigenous species such as bees, butterflies, moths and birds.

The proposal was presented to the parish council at the Full Council meeting on 9 April 2019 and to the Annual Parish Assembly on 23 April 2019.

The vision is that this 'haven' will become an attractive, environmentally-friendly, colourful and, eventually, self-sustaining  area that can be appreciated by the whole community and which will provide an example of the sort of planting that can be done in any garden to create good habitat for threatened species.

The plot can be accessed from Hirst Copse and has a natural path across it that leads towards the Woodland Burial Ground.

On the upper side of the plot (to the left of the path as you access the land from Hirst Copse) the plan is to plant some small trees, like crab apple, rowan and hazel. In amongst the trees, on which bird and bat boxes will be mounted, will be planted some woodland flowers such as bluebells and snowdrops. To the right of the path, on the slope closest to the houses, the plan is to create a wild flower meadow, building on the wild flowers already established there. This side of the path will remain uncut during the summer months.

Please note that there will be no change in access to the site.

This autumn, some of the brambles at the top of the site will be cleared before inviting children from St Mary Bourne Primary School to help with planting trees in November.  The group will need some help clearing the brambles, so if you'd like to get involved, please email sustainablebournevalley@gmail.com