City children learn to sow and share

20 Exeter primary schools have embarked on a new wildflower seed sowing initiative which it set to benefit local wildlife.
Poppies and cornflowers in a wildflower meadow

Photo, Paul Hobson

The ‘Sow and Share’ project is being run by the charity Devon Wildlife Trust and is supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery. Each school has received 1kg of mixed wildflower seeds, along with sowing equipment including rakes, wheelbarrows and flower identification books.

Students are using the seed and equipment to sow the wildflowers, bringing colour and wildlife interest to their school grounds. Any remaining seed will then be distributed to the children and their families for sowing in gardens locally.

The wildflower seed mix includes many species that are now rare and declining in the wider Devon countryside. Cornflowers, common poppies and corn chamomile are among the list of seeds being sown.

The work is part of Devon Wildlife Trust’s Exeter Schools Project which has been working with the city’s schools since 2017. It has ensured that hundreds of Exeter children have received part of their education outside the classroom walls learning about and from the nature around them.

Willowbrook Primary is one of the schools who are taking part in ‘Sow and Share’. Miss Georgia Scott, a Year One teacher at the school, said:

“The children have really enjoyed getting stuck into the hard work preparing the grounds for the seeds. It has helped them to become real wildlife champions, we can’t wait to see the flowers grow”.

Devon Wildlife Trust’s Emily Bacon runs the Sow and Share project. Emily said:

“The project has not only enabled lots of school children to get outdoors and have fun but also to have a positive impact on helping wildlife. Sowing wildflowers in the city is a crucial way to help look after our pollinating insects such as bees, butterflies and moths. We now hope to create a map that displays where all the seeds have been sown in the city so that the children can see what a wonderful collective impact their work has had”.

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