Yippee it’s half-term! Time to play, time to relax, time to let your mind wander, time to notice some wildflowers? Next time you go outside, can you spot any little wildflowers? They can brighten up the pavement, cheer up the brickwork, provide a splash of colour to the verges, and dance around at the foot of the hedges.
Your challenge this week is to notice and try and name as many wildflowers as you can. Which colours can you find – vibrant yellow, moody purple, bright white, bold blue, and if you’re lucky maybe a lively pink? How many petals do they have? How do they smell? Remember that pollinators like bees and butterflies need the wildflowers, so please don’t pick them.
How many different types of wildflowers do you think there are in the UK? (Answer at bottom of this page!) For help identifying wildflowers we’d recommend Native Flower, or if you are out with your parent/carer and they have their phone to hand you could use the inaturalist app produced by the National Geographic Society, or here’s a Wildlife Watch ‘spotter’ sheet if you’d prefer.
Bees and butterflies rely on wildflowers for food and shelter. This half-term could you help out our insects by sowing some wildflowers seeds? The more wildflowers there are, the more diverse pollinators they can support, and the more healthy crops we can grow. The Bumblebee Trust have produced a step-by-step video of how to grow a wildflower meadow in a pot or container.
Climate change is causing problems for much of our natural world – including wildflowers. As temperatures rise in the UK, wildflowers are moving northwards – this becomes problematic when they reach the northernmost boundary – for example, the coastline of Scotland. With increased droughts in the UK long-rooted varieties of wildflowers are becoming more dominant as they find it easier to survive than short-rooted wildflowers.
Remember to HIT THE RED BUTTON when you have completed this flower power challenge and, if you’re able to plant some wildflower seeds then enjoy watching them bloom!
(Answer: There are 1,100 different types of wildflowers in the UK)