Tring’s nature reserve, College Lake, featured in last Sunday’s Summer Special Countryfile on BBC One.
The BBC chose College Lake , one of the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust’s flagship nature reserves,as the backdrop to showcase the work of artist Rachel Dein, who makes plaster tiles of flowers and leaves.
Countryfile presenter Naomi Wilkinson met Rachel in the Cornfield Flowers area at College Lake to find out how the artist works.
People are advised not to pick wild flowers on BBOWT’s nature reserves, so leading volunteers George Bray and Ken Thompson suggested to Naomi and Rachel which flowers and leaves to pick, choosing ones that would give texture and form to the final artwork.
The TV crew spent a day at College Lake filming Rachel and Naomi, who each created a tile for Rachel to finish back in her London studio.
The wild flower meadow is part of the Arable Weeds project set up by Wildlife Trust volunteers while the site was being used as a chalk quarry in the 1980s. Topsoil from the farmland had been scooped into a high bank to the side of the quarry, and seeds buried deep in the soil had started to flower.
Wildlife Trust volunteers soon realised they had a valuable heritage seedbank of plants that had all but disappeared from modern farms due to the use of herbicides.
The Arable Weeds Project was set up to harvest seed, grow more plants and then plant them in what is now the Cornfield Flowers area.