A campaign by Prince of Wales backed British conservation charity Plantlife to bring back wildflowers to the country’s roadside verges has been gathering momentum – and is being lauded by Burleys.
Plantlife is calling on councils to ‘ditch the mower’ with the aim of saving threatened wildflowers and plants – and helping pollinators.
And Royal Warrant holder Burleys, which works with Lewes District Council and various community groups to create mini meadows across the district, has been particularly excited about the response from local authorities to Plantlife’s campaign.
Indeed, its success has sparked a call by the Guardian for readers to send in photos of their local wildflower verges, with Burleys’ community liaison officer for Lewes, Karen Rigby Faux explaining to the paper how her corner of England is helping the bees.
“Burleys, Lewes district council and Wildflower Lewes have been planting up verges across Lewes District for three years. There are several different types of meadows, those that are more biodiversity rich – which are perennial wildflowers – are sown once and then left to get on with it, year on year,” she explained.
“The other meadows are the annual wildflower seeds chosen for our pollinators – these are much prettier and have to be sown yearly. These mini-meadows are scattered across roadside verges, recreation fields, housing estates and cemeteries. This year all the meadows were teeming with butterflies, bees, grasshopper and crickets. It’s amazing just how many insects benefit from such small areas.
“We want to improve the biodiversity of our district, educate and inspire others to do the same and hopefully they will get closer to nature by visiting more green spaces. We plant chalk-loving plug plants in some areas to create mini-downland areas in the hope that residents will get out more, reducing social isolation and improving health and wellbeing.
“We receive many compliments about how the wildflower verges have made them happy on their way to work and school. The wider impact a small patch of ground can have on people is tremendous and shouldn’t be underestimated.”
Plantlife’s road verge campaign started in 2013 in an attempt to reverse the decline of natural flora. The group says wildflower meadows are some of the UK’s most species-rich habitats, but are found on less than 1% of the country’s land area. More than 97% of meadows have been lost since the 1930s and the remaining fragments have poor legal protection.
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