Chambers Farm Wood Butterfly Garden

The aim in creating the Garden is to raise the profile of Butterfly Conservation, and to enthuse others to garden for butterflies & moths by:-

  • attracting butterflies into the Garden, so that visitors are able to get good views of the more common species of both butterflies and moths,
  • demonstrating the types of plants that will encourage butterflies & moths,
  • experimenting with different habitats & management regimes to minimise maintenance without reducing the Garden's attractiveness to both people and wildlife.

General View GardenThe Garden continues to be developed. It is designed to be at its best from June through to September, though we hope that it will be of some interest all the year round.

Chambers Farm Wood (Grid ref: TF 147740) is located off the B1202 Bardney to Wragby road - follow the brown signs.

The Garden is used and developed with the kind permission of the Forestry Commission.

Contact: Audrey Spring (tel: 01472 879624)


Please click link below:



Gardening: Dates and Times

Join us in the Garden:
'Weed a bit, plant a bit, relax a bit - what a way to spend a day - a workout & relaxation therapy all for free!'

 Gardening days for 2015/2016 - all are Tuesdays - anytime between 10.00 am and 2.00 pm

January 2016
1st & 15th
5th & 19th
3rd & 17th
7th & 21st
5th & 19th

9th & 23rd

September 6th (BBQ) & 20th
October 4th & 18th
November 1st

For all gardening, please wear appropriate clothing & footwear. Tools and drinks will be provided, but bring your own if you prefer.
Please note: all dates are provisional and will depend on the weather conditions, so, please check with Audrey (tel: 01472-879624) to confirm before travelling.


Butterfly Garden Feature

BG-D.ThompsonDave Thompson has produced this superb feature on his special moments of photography at Chambers Farm Wood butterfly garden.  Please click on the link below to enjoy:





Top Ten Plants for Butterflies

  • Perennial Wallflower: 'Bowles Mauve': Apr-Sept
  • Red Valerian: May-Sept
  • Sweet Rocket: 'Hesperis Matronalis': May-June
  • Verbena Bonariensis: June-Oct: likes dry
  • Marjoram: June-Sept
  • Hebes: June-Aug
  • Purple Loosestrife: July-Aug: Likes damp
  • Buddleias varieties: July-Sept
  • Sedum varieties: Aug-Oct
  • Michaelmas Daisies: various: Aug-Oct

For more on plants, have a look at the main BC website on:


 Plant of the Moment

Myositis scorpioides







Forget-Me-Not - Myositis scorpioides

A good source of nectar


News from the Garden: Our 'Blog'!

17th May 2016

  • Another perfect day for gardening - we are being lucky this year. Lots of plants to put in today, but the new raised beds looked full. On closer inspection we realised they were full of weed seedlings presumably brought in with the second quality top soil. We did wonder what the difference was between grade 1 and grade 2 top soil - now we know. It was a challenge to decide which seedlings had been sown and which had not. Next year we will sow in straight lines as advised by experts to cope with this exact situation.
  • Today we planted in the original raised bed with Hyssop, shrubby Salvia - Hot Lips, more Bowles Mauve and Valerian. On the scree bed more Thyme, in the formal beds new Hebes, Sweet William and Nicotiana and on the annual bed Cosmos, Nasturtiums, Echium and Anni Majus.Brimstone eggs on Alder Buckthorn - James Hewson
  • A new bed of Fleabane and Borage was created, which skilled volunteers surrounded with a low wicker fence made from Hazel sticks.
  • The highlight of the day was watching a female Brimstone egg laying on a small Alder Buckthorn sapling. Butterflies seen today - Brimstone, Orange tip and Speckled Wood.

Next Session: 7th June Take cuttings from shrubs, fill in any spaces on the annual bed, work on the Buddleia bed and put in canes for Bindweed.

3rd May 2016

  • A perfect day for gardening - warm and still. Inspected the new annual beds, the recently frosty nights had taken out the Nasturtiums which was a surprise and given the newly planted Cosmos a shock, but I think they will recover. The Cornflower seedlings had stood up well and lots of seeds were showing through.
  • We added more plants - Calendula, Echium Blue Bedder, Anni Majus, Phacelia, Companularia and more Centaurea. Borage and Agastache next time. Hot weather is forcast so fingers crossed they all survive.
  • Some of the Buddleias were replaced with new specimens and raised up in the ground to improve their drainage.
  • We continued to work through the more formal beds - weeding, sorting, dividing and re-planting the good nectar producing Orange tip male - James Hewsonperennials.
  • Pulmonaria, Forget-me-nots, Honesty and Erysimum Bowles Mauve are putting on a good show. Comfrey is proving very attractive to bees - once the flowers are over we shall trim the leaves back and add to the compost heap, it will soon produce new growth.
  • Our first Orange tip was seen on Erysimum Bowles Mauve and Brimstones seen in the car park. There were lots of tadpoles or 'toadpoles' more probably in the pond.

Next Session: Tuesday 17th May - turning the composst, more sowing, planting and keeping on top of the weeds.

19th April 2016

  • Having heard that the garden was flooded, we feared the worst - it was wet but workable. We then discovered that animals (wild or domestic) had had a good rake through our newly seeded annuals bed. Were we down-hearted? No!
    The sun was Flooded BC garden - Mary Portershining and there was cake.
  • The annual bed was sorted, seedlings of hardy annuals (Cornflowers, Nasturtiums and Cosmos) were planted - they could survive a few cold nights. Seeds of Candytuft, Poached Egg plants and Night Sented Stocks were added. Then all three beds were netted to avoid a repeat of last week.
  • It was perfect timing for sorting the formal beds - weeding, sorting, dividing and re-planting the perennials like Hemp Agrimony, Michaelmas Daisies, Astrantia and Sedums. We also added more of the wonderful Erysimum Bowles Mauve which flowers all the year, but does need replacing every 2-3 years. It is easy to start cuttings from the mature plants at this time of year.
  • Our compost heap provided plenty of rich mulch to spread on the big perennial beds.Erysimum Bowles mauve - James Hewson
  • The Honesty is starting to flower ready to attract the Orange tip butterflies - not many plants this year, must remember to spread more seed later in the year.
  • No butterflies in the garden but Brimstones, both male and female were seen flying up and down the lane. No Toadspawn to be seen either, lets hope they have hatched already, but the Newts were active.

Next Session: Tuesday 3rd May - taking a good look at the Buddleias. The garden is generally so wet that they are struggling, so we shall try and improve conditions and re-plant.

5th April 2016

  • An early start today and by 10.15 am we had shifted two tons of fresh top soil into the newly created raised beds - then we paused for a welll earned coffee and cake. Phacelia (brilliant for insects), Corn Marigolds and Corncockle (native wildflowers) were sown directly into the new bed. Other annuals (Cornflowers, Marigolds, Nasturtiums, Agastache, Bugloss and Cosmos) have been started indoors, along with Candytuft will be added next session.Earth Moving Gang
  • Elsewhere in the garden the grass was given its first cut of the year, the pond was topped up and we continued the task of working through the more formal beds - weeding, moving and adding well tried perennials.
  • We planted Lavender plants (grown from cuttings of existing plants) together with Sedums, Red Valerian and Marjoram (self seeded in the garden) in the raised herb bed.
  • The Heather was still brilliant, with lots of Primroses (each year we add more) and Pulmonaria. Cowslips, Forget-me-nots, Marsh Marigolds and Red Valerian were starting to flower.
  • Fortunately the rain held off, but it was again too cold for butterflies. Newts and Toads were seen in the pond so hopefully there will be some Toadspawn next time.

Next Session: 19th April - continuing to seed and plant the new annual beds. Pruning Buddleias if needed.

15th March 2016

  • A cold misty morning. we quickly had the bonfire going, fortunately the wood was dry and the air was still so that was soon done. The ash and charcoal will go on the flower beds. Meanwhile, the 'construction team' set about creating frames for three raised beds out of used scaffolding boards.
  • We have been struggling over the years to create a good bed for annuals in our wet soil, so we have decided to experiment with some raised beds. By the end of the session we had three - there was much debate on how to arrange them. Finally deciding on an off-set row (see photo). Raised Beds in the Making - James Hewson
  • They will be lined with a porous membrane, filled with topsoil and sown with butterfly friendly annuals. Hopefully visitors will be inspired to do something similar in their own garden - our aim as always is to encourage people to garden for wildlife and butterflies in particular.
  • The Heather is still providing the bees with pollen. Primroses and Pulmonaria are now in flower too.
  • It was far too cold today to see any butterflies, but several volunteers have seen Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock butterflies in their own gardens in the last few days.

Next Sesssion: 5th April - Finishing the raised beds and sowing annuals.

1st March 2016

  • A late start today due to the rain, but fortified by Rock Buns and coffee, we soon made a start on the raking following the annual mowing completed for us last week by John and Peter.Heather close up
  • No chance of burning the brash this week however, as everything is sodden. So the bonfire will have to wait until next time. In fact the ground was too wet to do any work on the beds. Instead we collected up soil from the mole hills and potted up the self-sown seedlings of Red Valerian which proved so attractive to the Broad-bordered Bee Hawkmoths last year. It wasn't only us that liked the mole hills - a large sleepy Toad was found hiding in one.
  • The sun finally emerged at midday and within an hour the winter Heather was buzzing with Honey bees - see the photo of the bee with its pollen baskets full of pollen.Bee on Heather
  • We finished the day by giving the paths a good sweep.
  • Unsurprisingly no butterflies, but plenty of birds about - notably Buzzard (a regular now), Sparrowhawk and a number of Bullfinches.

Next Session: Tuesday 15th March - Working through the flower beds, weeding, sorting and planting. Also checking the state of the paths to see what repairs we can make.

16th February 2016

  • A cold and frosty start to the new gardening year but the sun and the work soon warmed us up. It took most of the morning to cut down the perennials in the more formal beds and the rest were prepared for the annual mowing later in the month.
  • Stalks were shredded and added to the compost heap, trying not to disturb the heap too much in case the Grass snake is in residence.Garden in Winter - J. Spring
  • The Hebes that we had put protection around seemed to have survivied the winter so far.
    More work was done on the Buddleia bed, but it was hard going - due to the heavy, wet clay that is not ideal for Buddleias.
  • The Winter Heathers are flowering well, providing a good early nectar source for early emerging butterflies, but no butterflies braved the cold today.
  • More Primroses were added by the hedge, these and the Pulmonarias are starting to flower.
  • We have decided to start the annuals inside this year as our soil is so wet. It takes too long for the soil to warm up enough to sow directly into the ground.

Next Session: Tuesday 1st March 2016. Raking up after the annual mow.