Mar 25, 2022


Although most of the field is regularly mown, it is not without interest as species such as Sorrel, Yarrow, Lesser stitchwort, Mouse ear, hawkbit and a lot of creeping buttercup and dandelion can still be seen. As some areas are now left unmown, wildflower species are increasing and being documented to help identify the diversity of Marden’s flora.

The Wildflower Meadow, created by Marden in Bloom in the pandemic lockdown, has a considerable variety of native species. Whilst the ox eye daises predominate and give a wonderful show in early Summer, they are ‘thinned out’ to allow other wildflowers to flourish. Creating a Wildflower Meadow is not an easy exercise and needs regular management. Species include ribwort plantain, red & white campion, yarrow, knapweed, lady’s bedstraw, corn cockle, field & devil’s bit scabious, wild carrot, mouse ear, red clover, hawkbit, foxglove, teasel, betony, musk mallow, birdsfoot trefoil, marjoram, common cat’s ear, meadow buttercup, selfheal, common vetch, yarrow and kidney vetch – all a good source of pollen for insects especially bees and butterflies. Kidney vetch is a food plant of the rare Small Blue butterfly which has been recorded here. In Spring, cowslips flourish. Marden in Bloom try to introduce other varieties that are indigenous in the Low weald. Annual wildflowers like poppies, cornflowers, corn marigolds etc struggle to grow once the perennial plants dominate. Yellow Rattle helps with the success of a wildflower meadow as it supresses grass. Seeds from a nearby wildflower meadow have now been sown here to help ours flourish.

Marden in Bloom has planted over 2,000 naturalising daffodils around the boundary and trees, and at the bottom of the Beacon Winston Churchill daffodils flower in the Spring. Whilst daffodils are not generally attracted to bees, they give a wonderful display.


There’s a good range of fungi in the field in late Summer/Autumn such as Brownedge Bonnet, Deceiver, Common Earth Ball and Wood Blewitt. A rare, bright yellow Waxcap was identified in 2021. The red and white spotted fungi, Fly Agaric, one of the most recognisable and widely encountered in popular culture is also present. Fungi are an important part of soil biodiversity and this diverse group of organisms can help tackle global challenges, including climate change. Fungi are closely interlinked with vegetation and carbon and nutrient cycling. As a result, they are a major help in slowing down climate warming.


More investigation needs to be undertaken on identify the insects here. Butterflies identified so far include: Common Blue, Holly Blue, Small Copper, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Painted Lady, Red Admiral and Comma. There are many bees and hoverflies and the Elephant Hawkmoth was prolific in the Summer of 2022. 


Many of Marden’s birds are seen here, attracted by insects in the wildflower meadow and the boundary hedges and woodland. If it’s not too dry, blackbirds and thrushes hunt the grass for worms, alongside starlings searching for leatherjackets to feed their young, and pied wagtails looking for insects. Look out, too, for  Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Wren, House Sparrow, Robin, Woodpigeon and Collared Dove.

Jackdaws and Magpies, with Herring Gulls and Black-headed Gulls that breed on the roofs of the nearby industrial estate, come to find worms – but they also clear up any food scraps left behind after picnics!

You can find another QR code with general information about the field and its trees on the bin by the entrance to the field. 

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