WOODHALL ESTATE

HERTFORDSHIRE

Wild Flower Areas

 

Some of the less productive areas of farmland have been planted with wild flower and grass mixes which are now awash with colour.  Plants such as knapweed, chicory, St Johns wort, scabious and cranesbill provide a valuable environment for predatory insects to breed and overwinter, feeding on pests such as aphids which can damage crops.
                                                                                               
The earlier flowers in this area, such as clovers, vetches and campions are a great attraction to bees and in early May were smothered in soldier beetles, ladybird eggs and newly hatched larvae.  These beneficial insects should always be encouraged to reduce pest aphid species such as flea beetle, which can cause devastating damage to oil seed rape plants.