They’ve kept up the good work at Harcourt Arboretum, an outlying branch of the Botanic Garden a little way south of the city. As the name suggests, it’s dedicated mostly to trees, with recently extended wildflower parkland. They are doing everything they can to encourage biodiversity.
A further 50 acres, purchased in 2006, is called Palmer’s Leys. It has been sown with seeds from the already existing meadow with some extra added – birdsfoot trefoil, common sorrel, cowslip, field scabious, lady’s bedstraw, lesser knapweed, oxeye daisy, ragged robin, ribwort plantain, selfheal, tufted vetch, yarrow and yellow rattle.
Even though I was there on a very cold day at the beginning of November, it seems as if it was almost balmy now that my field is all white and the roads hereabouts thick with ice. That was autumn, this is winter.