A Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Council scheme has helped a village's wildflower meadow bloom.

Harleston's wildflower Jubilee Meadow has been assisted by the councils' scheme - which gifts thousands of trees, hedgerow plants, and wildflower seeds to eligible organisations.

The scheme forms part of the councils' biodiversity action plan, and its aim is to help protect and strengthen planting and wildlife across the districts, working alongside local communities.

Originally launched in 2021, the ‘trees, hedgerow, and wildflowers scheme’ has seen nearly 5,000 trees and hedgerow plants, and thousands of wildflower seeds, gifted to town and parish councils.

This year, the scheme was also extended to welcome applications from community groups and landowners with publicly-accessible land. The hope is to further increase tree and wildflower coverage in Babergh and Mid Suffolk.

An example of this is found in Harleston, near Stowmarket. In April last year, Harleston Parish Meeting used the scheme to create a new wildflower Jubilee Meadow.

Rare species like Small Copper, Brown Angus, and Corn Marigolds can be found in the meadow, while the parish has beehives close to the meadow, reinvesting money made from selling local honey back into the meadow and local area.

Stowmarket Mercury: Jubilee Meadow, Harleston, before planting.Jubilee Meadow, Harleston, before planting. (Image: Harleston Parish Meeting)

Stowmarket Mercury: Jubilee Meadow, Harleston, after planting.Jubilee Meadow, Harleston, after planting. (Image: Harleston Parish Meeting)

Chair of Harleston Parish Meeting, Andy Wilks said: “Following the brilliant initiative by the councils to offer free wildflower mix to help promote insect and butterfly life, we took the decision to turn over part of our village green to wildflower meadow.

“With the trusty help of lots of volunteers and some friendly local farmers, the results have been fantastic – lovely meadows full of butterflies and other insect life. And a great place for local residents and visitors to come and relax and enjoy nature at its best."

Ward member for Harleston, councillor John Matthissen said: “It has been a pleasure to encourage and help in a small way with the tremendous progress that Harleston have made with their Meadow project over the last 18 months.

"They are rightly receiving many congratulations and I hope that lots more parishes will carry out projects to improve biodiversity in ways best-suited to their own village.

"Reversing the decline in the natural world is as urgent as tackling climate change, and will help wildlife to adapt.”