A NEW cornfield flower project to help preserve the species is under way in Norton.
This Next Steps’s Cornfield Flower Project follows on from two previously funded Heritage Lottery Funding (HLF) projects Cornfield Flowers – Back from the Brink, to prevent these species from local extinction, and Cornfield Flowers – Out of Intensive Care, which widens the list of species being conserved and raises awareness of the status of these rare flowers.
Leisa Burniston, service manager at the Next Steps mental health resource centre, in Church Street, Norton, said: “We hope that this project ‘Into the Community’ will help stabilise the populations of a number of cornfield flower species by increasing the number of sites they are present at in towns and villages, as well as on farms, raise awareness of them to new communities and increase the number of people getting hands on with their conservation.
“This project focuses on about a dozen species that will be best suited to be grown by our volunteers in urban environments to support the farms involved in the Cornfield Flower Project and would make a stunning display as part of town planting schemes across Ryedale, including corn cockle, fiddle neck, field penny cress, corn buttercup, red hemp nettle and more.
“In this project we will be creating a new cornfield flower nursery site on our Next Steps allotment in Norton, then explore introducing these plants to other green spaces around Norton and Malton, as well as other towns in Ryedale, including Pickering and Kirkbymoorside, where we will also expand the population of the species by working with the Yorkshire Farm Flora project, another branch of the Cornfield Flowers Project that has been funded through Natural England’s Facilitation fund.
“Altogether 14 farms in our area have come together to conserve cornfield flowers and other rare North Yorkshire flora, and we hope to support them by growing seeds to be introduced to their farms.”
Leisa said they had recently had an open day introducing the plants to their allotments.
She added: “Once these seed the seeds will be gathered and taken to other rural communities throughout Ryedale to prevent extinction, we will be also gathering other seeds from rural farmers, thus bringing farmers and communities together.”
If you would like to be a part of the project, or become a volunteer, phone Next steps on 01653 690854.