Swathes of glorious wildflowers are poised to bloom at the Woodland Trust’s Brackfield Wood in the beautiful Faughan Valley, south-east of Derry/Londonderry.
This is one of just four flagship woods taking shape across the UK to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War. In total, the Trust’s Centenary Woods project will see millions of trees planted in memory of the millions of lives lost and affected by the war.
“We really hope that local people and visitors will take time out to explore this flourishing young woodland, and summer is the perfect time. The wildflowers are making their debut, and are already attracting pollinators, as well as being easy on the eye.”Rosie Irwin, Woodland Trust site manager
In contrast to the sadness, Brackfield’s beauties are an uplifting sight, with ox-eye daisy, cornflower, red campion and poppy at the heart of a colourful mix. The wildflowers, interspersed with red clover, barley and oats, will provide a valuable habitat for many species of insects and birds.
New pathways wend gently through this quiet corner of nature; while new wooden benches, strategically dotted, invite walkers to stop and take in the beauty of the stunning River Faughan.
Rosie Irwin is the Woodland Trust’s site manager and says: “We really hope that local people and visitors will take time out to explore this flourishing young woodland, and summer is the perfect time. The wildflowers are making their debut, and are already attracting pollinators, as well as being easy on the eye.
“We’ll be adding to the mix over the next couple of years, keeping an eye on what’s doing well. We’ve included, for example, yellow rattle – a pretty, semi-parasitic plant that suppresses grass growth, giving other wildflowers space to thrive. Then, of course, there’s the iconic red poppy. We have scatterings this year, and we’ll be building on this with the aim of having a dazzling show of poppies over the next year or two.”
The charity, with the help of local people and groups, has already planted 15,000 native saplings, as part of an ambitious 40,000 target. The trees will be a lasting and peaceful tribute to the people of Ireland who played a part in the First World War.
To find out more about Brackfield Wood, visit www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/faughan.
The First World War Centenary Woods project is supported by the Trust’s lead partner Sainsbury’s.