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Nature Spaces


Nature Spaces at Thorne

Nature Spaces working with Thorne at their headquarters in Rand, Lincolnshire to help them make their thirty odd acres as wildlife friendly/bee friendly as possible.

News from 2013 and plans for 2014

Our big news is that we have sown two wild flower meadows see more of this below!





Four of our Wild Flower Meadow meet.

Image Sarah Butler


 Traditional Wild Flower Meadows -In September last year we were very pleased to sow the areas assigned for these.

We were introduced, by Helen Baczkowska of Norfolk Wildlife Trust, to Roger Wardle, Flora Local, with his wealth of hands on experience of reproducing, restoring and recreating botanically rich meadows. We thoughly enjoyed meeting him, hearing his ‘take’ on wild flower meadows and seeing with him the meadows in Lincolnshire that he is involved with. We used Roger Wardle’s evolved, preferred, method of sowing the seed, which is by slot seeding. A technique for introducing the flowers into the ground by one single operation, with low energy requirements and   retaining the existing plant diversity, all in all a simpler method which is more respectful of the soil physiology. We used two different seed mixes and we will be interested to see any differences that there are between them. Of course Mother Nature has had a hand in the meadows since then and we have yet to see what effect water logging and a large amount of moss will have on germination!

Management of these two newly sown meadows this year will be to keep the meadows short, about 4” to enable as many of the flower species to get established as possible, this will be achieved by cutting, and importantly taking away the clippings. In 2015 normal once yearly cutting and carting away will commence. In February of  2015, Yellow Rattle, Rhinanthus minor, will be sown, which as well as being very pretty and a good plant for pollinating insects, helps to keep the grasses in balance by parasitizing on them. In 2015 the meadows will be left to grow and flower freely and we then get to see what we have in our new meadows! 

All the Wild Flower Meadows we have at Thorne

We have six different meadows that are being developed; two traditional meadows, two short meadows, waterside/bog meadows and the grass areas between the trees in the wood land walk.


The Bog Wild Flower Meadow and the short meadows are being surveyed this year to see what species we actually have. Of course we are hoping for lots more of the Ophrys apifera, the bee orchids that were discovered last year, very apt for a bee garden! And hopefully more, charming additions.

The Wood Land Walk.

This area is at the moment having its lush amounts of ragwort and thistle lessoned. And will gradually have a change taking place where glades of dog roses, foxgloves’ and bluebells et al will take their place!


2013.  The Rose and Herb garden.

 The roses have grown like mad, they adore the soil, which has quite a clay element to it - before Thorne the whole site was owned by landscape engineers who appear to have had great fun making hills, lakes, pumping systems the lot and whilst having their play soil that was from different layers has been redistributed, hence clay being more in evidence in this garden!



Borage this year is going to be sprinkled around the roses to add its heavenly sky blue to the mix of all the various pinks of the roses and the blues and pinks of the other herbs.




Bee on Borage Image Barbara Aldiss


How do we, at Thorne, manage aphid or disease problems on roses without harming beneficial insects you may wonder?

Well this is how – healthy, unstressed plants are resistant to problems so we look to that first. We check that the plants are not hungry, thirsty or rocking on their roots. That there is good air flow between the plants and in the area that they are planted in. We pick or cut off anything that may look as if it is the ‘start’ of a problem. A tiny bit of black spot though is thought of as inevitable and is turned a blind eye to!

But if it is thought that aphids are building up this is our patent (not literally!), harmless for good insects, wonder mix;

 It is a mix of Ecover type loo cleaner, roughly one part loo cleaner to eight parts water, with one quarter of a part (!) of Ecover type washing up liquid as a wetting agent; it acts to make the mix stick to the plant.

You can put this in a sprayer - or a washing up bowl and dunk the rose tips in it and give them a swirl around.

Once a season can turn out to be enough, if you have to do it at all!

The roses have all been chosen for amongst other things their scent. Indulge yourself, when you are next at with us at Thorne, in that rare event – the glorious scent of real roses!

See over for the roses we have planted.



The Front Gardens

There has been a lovely response from visitors to Thorne from people seeing that perennials are not as labour intensive as people were led to believe but can be so charming and humming with life! Look out for the new additions to these plantings this year.


This years project

A Poppy Garden.This is near to the entrance at Thorne. Eleven meters by Eleven meters - a space to sit in where you will be surrounded by glorious bright blousy poppies;  oriental, annual and biennials in all the colours -pinks, yellows, reds, plum, orange and purples. All nodding and buzzing with very happy summer bees.

What else

 We may be able to make a start on our Snowdrop Walk. We may do a bit of work on the Cottage Garden that will surround our Museum and of course we will be looking to see what wildlife all the nature spaces that we have at Thorne’s attract - hopefully you will do this with us?

So do join us when you come to Rand and enjoy the ‘walks’ that are developing, and the seating that is appearing and feel free to settle somewhere with a picnic or retire to Stuarts Buzz Stop Café for a tasty lunch or restorative cuppa!

Sarah Butler Biodiversity Landscape Designer for Nature Spaces and Thorne



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