Wild Flower turf…Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum extended the meadow habitat in their Wildlife Garden using an innovative soil-less Wild Flower Turf from Hampshire for the meadow area of the project. The Museum’s Wildlife Garden, first opened in 1995, and was created to illustrate a range of semi-natural habitats including woodland, heath land, hedgerow, freshwater pond, fen, chalk grassland, reed-bed and meadow to showcase the variety to be found in the English countryside.
This most recent meadow project was started in March 2009 using 75 sq meters of the beautiful soil less wild flower turf. This has a compost based growing medium, laid over a membrane using a 50 % grass, 50% flower seeds of many varieties, to give a natural meadow area for visitors to the Museum to enjoy.
The brainchild of James Hewetson-Brown, this wildflower turf is grown on Ashe Warren Farm in Hampshire. The meadows are characterised by a wealth of colourful wild flowers, requiring little maintenance and have the additional use as grazing land during the winter for sheep. With the variety of wild flowers and grasses this provided an important habitat for many species of insects, bees, and butterflies.
Wild Flower turf has become the fastest growing medium in the UK for putting back the country life and habitat into our towns and cities, not only on land but on green roofs too. The Natural History Museum has plans on the drawing board for incorporating a “Wild Flower Roof” into their future plans.
James Hewetson-Brown told The Landscaper , “These are exciting times and it is very gratifying and satisfying to see the outcome of years of development turn into such a great business, bringing colour, birds and butterflies back into our gardens, parks, cities and countryside”.
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