The Wildflower Island Project

Based in Hayling, the Wildflower Island Project aims to help protect and enhance the natural beauty they have on their doorstep. They are joining Team Wilder in our efforts to go wild.
Volunteers on the Wildflower Island Project

Left to right: Eric Walker MBE, Kathleen Askew, Anne Hauschild, Netty Shepherd, Sue Hutchings, and David Armitage. Dogs: Doug and Lily 

© Jeanette Shepherd

Volunteers from the Wildflower Island project were busy in October, planting over 2500 spring bulbs in the copse outside the Mill Rythe schools. The project aims to help protect and enhance the natural beauty of Hayling Island, building on the amazing bio-diversity we are so lucky to have on our doorstep.

The drifts of snowdrops and crocus are designed to provide sustenance to over-wintering bees, and will be followed by swathes of bluebells and wood anemones. As we move into Summer, there will be a lovely display of wild flowers for islanders, visitors and our wildlife to enjoy. The Wildflower Island team got together at the beginning of this Summer and with advice and guidance from a number of other community projects in the borough, the idea quickly gained momentum. With many local authorities discovering the social-economic benefits of wildflower planting and a number of re-wilding trials across West Sussex and Hampshire, it was the perfect moment to discuss with Havant Borough Council what could be done on Hayling.

Art Sketch of Land Map in Mill Rythe Copse

© Jeanette Shepherd

Wildlife spotted at Mill Rythe Copse and sketch of site.

All six Hayling Councillors, Havant’s councillor for the environment and our County Councillor were happy to support the project, all we needed was money and a plot of land to plant on. After discussing a number of potential sites with Havant, volunteer Lance was able to work some magic on Hampshire Highways who agreed to licence the site outside the Mill Rythe schools. The fabulous Hayling Lions said they would be happy to fund the project, and at the beginning of October it was suddenly all systems go. A special thank you goes to Issy Scott, whose ability to gets things done is remarkable, and Nikki Shepherd of the Lions, whose enthusiasm knows no bounds.

If you want to know more about the project or would like to help us “Make a Meadow” in the future, drop an email to

Netty Shepherd

Project Co-ordinator Wildflower Island

Wilder Future team walking into sunset

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