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Wildflowers are blooming in Cheltenham thanks to a project to create colourful urban meadows.
Cheltenham is known as the town within a park, and this year the council’s parks team has expanded on the wild urban meadows scheme, planting a total area of 75,000 square metres. This has increased from just 7,500 square metres planted last summer.
Three seed mixes have been used; one is a traditional cornfield mix and the other is a special mix developed to commemorate the centenary of WW1 and includes Flanders poppies, Bishops Flower, Red Flax and Cosmos. The third mix includes California poppies, cornflowers and marigolds.
The project aims to promote the use of nectar rich plants in parks and open spaces and make these spaces more visually attractive for residents and visitors to the town.
Janice Peacey, community ranger, explains: “We’d really like to get feedback from local residents to gain their thoughts on the urban meadows and whether they feel that they have enhanced these parts of our town.
“Studies by Buglife have found that 97 per cent of species rich meadows have been lost since World War I and in recent years many other organisations have also helped promote the need to increase the number of wildflower meadows to support endangered wildlife.”
Councillor Chris Coleman, cabinet member for clean and green environment, added: “These wonderful wildflower meadows serve as a poignant reminder of the Flanders fields in WWI whilst also giving great benefit to the environment. I’m very pleased with the results and will be interested to hear our residents’ views.”
Some of the sites where the urban meadows can be found include Pittville Park, alongside the tennis courts; Montpellier Gardens; the Honeybourne Line by Queen’s Road; St.Peter’s Park just off Princess Elizabeth Way; Cox’s Meadow; Hatherley Park; and Royal Well bus station. The grass was treated earlier in the year before being seeded.
Feedback on the scheme is very welcome; please email comments to the council at email@example.com