Fife Coast and Countryside Trust (FCCT) working in partnership with the Links Trust have created a new butterfly bank and meadow area at the Castle Course, St Andrews. A team from the Links Trust prepared the areas for planting and sowed grass seed, while FCCT Staff and volunteers sowed wildflower seeds.
A grant from Action Earth, allowed the purchase the Scottish native wildflower seeds. The seeds supplied by Scotia Seeds and comprised of 26 different native species, the majority of which originate from Fife, with the remainder sourced from nearby counties. It includes the large purple-blue spikes of Viper’s Bugloss, and cream-coloured clouds of Meadowsweet.
When the flowers begin to bloom early next year, they will attract a wide variety of nectar feeding invertebrates such as Buff-tailed Bumblebees, Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies and Six-Spot Burnet Moths. As the year goes on, the flowers turning to seed, a new food source is provided for other animals such as Goldfinches and Field Voles.
Conservation Officer Dominic Rye commented, ‘Sowing the wildflower seed mix onto our newly created butterfly bank and meadow area, was the culmination of 6 months’ work, between FCCT, the Links Trust and a team of volunteers. Working in partnership with the Links Trust to manage habitats and improve the biodiversity of the area is a vital part of our partnership.’
Trevor Harris, Deputy Course Manager at The Castle Course added, ‘It is great to assist FCCT to improve the biodiverse areas and to help encourage Butterflies and other pollinator insects. The Castle Course has a variety of habitats with large environmentally friendly areas, including a wet flush area that at the right time of year is covered with orchids. This new meadow area with a second Butterfly Bank will be a fantastic addition.’
In coming years surveys of the areas will enable us to identify changes in area’s biodiversity. A similar project created by the Trust worked on a few years previously has been incredibly successful and we look forward to the flowers blooming in this newer patch next spring, providing a variety of colour and nectar sources for many different invertebrate species.