The cool, clear waters of Hampshire's chalk streams support a range of wonderful wildlife, from brown trout and water voles to kingfishers and damselflies. But these important habitats, closely entwined with the lives of their human neighbours, need treating with care if they are to remain healthy. In the village of Cheriton, residents have just taken another step towards keeping their stream that way.
The Cheriton Conservation Volunteer Group has been enhancing the stream habitat with water-loving wildflowers, kindly supplied by local nursery Butterfly Cottage Garden Plants, since 2017. They were joined for this session by pupils from Cheriton Primary School, who did a fantastic job of planting ragged robin, viper's bugloss, devil's-bit scabious, and bird's-foot trefoil.
The flowers will bloom over the spring and summer, after which the volunteers and schoolchildren will head back out for another session. They hope to continue planting each year, in order to further support this precious habitat. This initiative forms part of the Watercress and Winterbournes Landscape Partnership Scheme - learn more about how the planting is going.