EPICH stands for 'Eco People In Croft and Hurworth' - They are a committee that works on projects within the parish concerning green spaces.
You can find out more about their great work on their own website at www.epich.org.uk or click on the Instagram logo below to see some of their recent work and information.
On Wednesday 26thJune, Judith Redfern and Helen Raine from EPICH, met with Carole and Elizabeth (who is a local botanist) from the Darlington & Teesdale Naturalists Club, to complete a wildflower survey in the meadow area at the Grange.
Elizabeth was very impressed with the success rate the EPICH volunteers have achieved. The planting and sowing, over the past 12 months, of Yellow Rattle, which is now flowering, has been very successful; Yellow Rattle is a parasitic plant on meadow grass and so suppresses the growth of the lush grass allowing the meadow flowers to grow more freely.
Together, we counted 18 different species of plants including two meadow grasses imaginatively called Crested Dogs Tale and Yorkshire Fog. We also saw a large green dragonfly, which from research appears to be called the “Large Green Dragonfly”!
When asked about spring bulbs and flowers to extend the range, Carole and Elizabeth suggested to try Winter Aconite bulbs (which are a very early source of nectar for insects) and Bluebell bulbs, followed by Cowslips; the Cowslips cam initially be bought as plug plants, which would all flower and then reseed before the perennial meadow plants got going.
Their other suggestions, for extra perennial diversity, would be to buy plugs of Meadow Cranesbill and Red Campion, all of which will self seed and spread.
Overall, Elizabeth’s opinion was that the meadow is doing well for the short period it has been in existence, as it can often take years to establish.