One of our first projects as a new group in 2019 was to collaborate with Northumberland County Council to try and make some changes in the Sele and Abbey Grounds. We have made a modest start by leaving long areas of grass and wildflowers to flower and set seed – near the Hencotes entrance and along the top of the Sele between the trees. Immediately these areas became feeding grounds for flocks of redwings in the autumn, and playgrounds for children in the spring. We’ve also created a new woodland wildflower border where there was once a herbicide-sprayed strip of bare earth along the top wall of the park, and by introducing new wildlife plants and seeds into appropriate places elsewhere. We have been helped by an army of volunteers and with support from the Council.
More recently a group of volunteers have taken on the management of a neglected area of the park called The Glade (adjacent to Hexham House) to revive the long border, with plants for pollinators, and to increase the diversity of native woodland plants which thrive beneath the mature trees. It is also a focus for our work with young people, with involvement from the Sele First School and the Youthy (Hexham Youth Initiative).