I don’t know anyone that doesn’t love wildflowers. So we thought we would celebrate Irish wildflowers in the Ring of Gullion. The event, hosted by Ring of Gullion AONB Office and delivered by the Enspire team, allowed families to learn about spring wildflowers, and they had the opportunity to identify some of our treasures – you can find out more information about wildflowers on the Habitas website by clicking here.
Young children and adults learned how to identify the flowers before heading off in to the forest where there were able to test their new skills. They found; Wood sorrel, Stitchwort, Lesser celandine, Foxglove, Bluebells, Wild strawberries and Violets.
Then the group was off to plant their very own wildflower patch. They decided upon a patch of ground near the new maze at the Slieve Gullion adventure playpark they covered the area with a wildflower seed mix. And one group planted out wildflowers in the shape of an ‘S’, the other group in the shape of a ‘G’ with ox eye daisy and red campion plug plants– Slieve Gullion. Everyone also got their own sun flower seed to plant out themselves at home.
So if you are visiting Slieve Gullion in June make sure to stop by the maze to see these wonderful wildflowers. Wildflowers are very important to us as they help maintain a healthy eco-system. They attract beneficial insects that feed on the wildflowers and make their home in them. In turn these insects help to fertilise our crops to grow produce for us to eat and the insects are food for other wildlife. The nectar of the red campion flowers is utilised by bumblebees and butterflies, and several species of moth feed on the foliage, and the open flower heads of Ox-eye daisy attract a large range of pollinating insects particularly bees, butterflies and hoverflies.
This event was supported by NIEA and Newry and Mourne District Council.