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Wildflower meadow planted in memory of little Daniel

Joanne Ross

Reporter:

Joanne Ross

Email:

editor@outlooknews.co.uk

A BALLYVEAGH woman has planted a wildflower meadow to raise money for charity.

Sarah Annett has spent this summer turning an area of derelict land blighted by fly tippers into something of beauty.

She has created a space for artists, photographers and the local community to sit in and enjoy.

Anyone who uses the meadow can give a small donation to the honesty box which will be passed on to the Cancer Fund for Children.

Sarah, a volunteer with the local cancer charity for the last four years, decided to dedicate the meadow on the Ballyveaghmore Road in memory of the late Daniel Forsythe.

Sarah, who works for the Belfast Coastguard, spoke to The Outlook about the wildflower meadow which has an abundance of bees, ladybirds, butterflies and flowers.

She said: “It was a bit of ground that we had and it had no real purpose, we weren't using it for anything. I said we should look at turning it into a wildflower meadow.

“There is also a wee river that runs along the bottom of it and I thought if I grew a meadow then it would be a good place for photographers and artists and local people to come and enjoy and give a donation to the honesty box.

“I had been doing a bit of research into growing a wildflower meadow. I live beside Marcus Chambers who owns Mourne Landscapes and asked if he had any tips.

“Marcus phoned me and it turned out there was a lot more than I thought to growing the meadow.”

Marcus told Sarah he would help her in any way he could and would also support the children’s cancer charity.

He also got in touch with EcoSeeds in Strangford who he uses through his own company and enquired about growing seed.

Sarah continued: “They were more than kind and said they would donate the seed for the project.

“Marcus looked at the ground and told me that I would have to burn off the grass and rotivate it back to the bare soil.

“Marcus had given us the rotivator and my dad got the job of doing that, we started doing it in the middle of the really hot summer.

“Everything took a long time to grow and Marcus sowed the seed for us. We needed to water it every evening because there was no rain and that was for about a full month.”

Sarah says when it eventually started to rain she noticed the first blooms in the meadow, adding: “It came on really quickly then and we got the first bloom on the second week of August and since then it has just kept on blooming.”

Mark Bryson from EcoSeeds is now hoping to do a bulb planting scheme in the hope that it will extend the bloom season of the meadow.

“The main thing we are asking people if they are using the meadow is to please stay on the path and not to walk on the flowers because they will just die.

“There is no minimum donation but all of the money will be donated to the Cancer Fund for Children. Willie Sloan from Sloan Woodcrafts made a beautiful sign for the gate from a piece of wood and then engraved into it 'Wildflower Meadow'.

“Alan from Getprint made a sign for the honesty box as you enter the meadow,” Sarah said.

You can find out more about the meadow and directions to it from its Facebook page, 'Wildflower Meadow'.

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