Wildflowers and Verges

East Cottingwith Verges Group 2017 review of year

The Verges and Wildflowers Group’s aims are to encourage the growth of a varied range of wild flowers along the lanes around East Cottingwith. This will have a beneficial effect on the survival of insects, birds and mammals, many of which are under threat.

To this end we embarked on a two-pronged campaign over 2017 – a programme of activities to raise awareness of the verges and wildlife and a plan for practical activity in managing the cutting regime on the verges ourselves.

Our aim to raise awareness have been significantly advanced by liaison with Natural England which started with a public meeting in the village hall in November 2016 and was followed by a Wildflower Walk on the Ings on 9th June; a talk in the village hall “Wings next to the Ings” on 23rd June; a balsam-bashing day on 9th July and a delivery of Natural England swift boxes which were put up on several houses in the village. Many thanks to Steve Ashton who forged the link with Natural England and arranged these events. We also had our annual wildflower walk along the lanes in June and took note of the different kinds of grasses and butterflies as well as the flowers. (See report below)

Our plan to manage the cutting and baling on the verges ourselves has made great strides over the year and will hopefully come to fruition in 2018. Peter and Tony have cut the verges on Mill Lane and the village meadow in Jubilee Wood. This will help those areas to produce finer grasses this year which will make better hay than otherwise. The intention is to cut Mill Lane and the Jubilee Wood meadow for hay. Natural England spread some seed from a flower-rich meadow on the Ings onto the village meadow which may lead to a more colourful sward.

New members are welcome to join the Verges Group and volunteers are needed to help with monitoring the flowers and butterflies on the verges. We aim to count the number of different plants in flower each month.



Verges Group Wildflower Walk 25th June 2017

Another successful and well attended wildflower walk took plave in June 2017.

To access a report on the walk click on the image below of a Small Skipper butterfly.

Latest Submitted Sightings

06/11/2015 submitted by Di Hammill


Meadowsweet lines the canal because the plant loves moist soil.  The druids revered meadowsweet, presumably they realised its healing powers even then.  Containing Salicylic Acid, Meadowsweet, along with the willow that lines East Cottingwith canal, is natures aspirin.  The  tall jar on the right is it dried into a tea for when my family feel poorly.   The third picture in the meadowsweet series shows meadowsweet ointment - it is an anti-aging too!  (I am really 92).




28/09/2015 submitted by Fiona Bruce

Water chickweed ( myosoton aquaticum or stellaria aquatic)

This pretty little flower is blooming in profusion down near the lock (at the side of the path between the lock and the stile onto the riverbank). I think it is most likely to be water chickweed although I’m happy to be corrected. It has five petals, deeply divided, 10 sepals, cordate  (heart-shaped) leaves opposite each other and grows in a straggly way with many branches. Its stem is hairy and slightly sticky. It is a perennial and flowers from June to October.