Chalk land wild flower project at Ropley -Scouts win Charlie Dimmock!
The 8th Alton Scouts , Anstey and Neatham Cubs, and Wootey and Greenfield Beavers have put in lots of evening sessions in the wet and cold spring weather, working with the Education Department to help create a chalk land wildflower area alongside the path from the Kings Cross bridge down to the yard.
The project was part of Scouting’s ‘Do One Thing’ national community engagement programme. The aim of the project was to improve the pathway and to provide visitors with a close up view of some of the wild flowers they will glimpse as they travel along our line. The local scout association entered the project into a national competition and won the help of Charlie Dimmock for the evening.
The boys and girls from Scouts, being the biggest, worked on the heavier jobs; cutting a straight edge on the path, nettle pulling, clearing away weeds from the existing surface, levelling out a big pile of chalk spoil and spreading cinders to improve the path.
Cubs have been put to work nettle pulling and collecting flints and laying them to provide a clear edge for visually impaired visitors. They have also built ‘Bug Hotels’ and placed these all around the site, to provide extra shelter for insect life.
Beavers grew chalk land wild flower seeds into plug plants and planted these into the cleared areas. They also collected flints and had a lovely time getting thoroughly grubby.
The project culminated with a big push on the evening of June 5th, to finish the planting for the bridge opening ceremony and the visit of Charlie Dimmock.
Scouts, Beavers and Cubs were all there with lots of parents, community volunteers from B&Q (who sponsor the event nationally) and a wonderful scouting camp kitchen was set up for us, serving hot dogs and camp doughnuts (deep fried jam sandwiches!) and at last the sun shone.