County Voice

Climate Change

Denbighshire’s Wildflower Meadow project is expanding

The Council's Wildflower Meadow project is expanding after its successful pilot supporting ongoing biodiversity last year, following the Council’s declaration of a climate and ecological emergency in July 2019.

An additional 30 wildflower meadows will be created this year, bringing the total number of sites managed for local wildflowers to 55 - contributing to the council’s improved species richness ambitions. These sites, along with the Council’s 11 Roadside Nature Reserves, contribute to almost 60 acres of local provenance wildflower habitat.

The project is a three-year initiative which aims to build a nature recovery network across Wales, engaging people, communities, businesses and decision-makers in both practical action and strategic planning for a healthy, resilient and nature-rich Wales.

Plas Lorna, Rhuddlan

Emlyn Jones, the Council’s Head of Planning, Public Protection and Countryside Planning said: “The sites are managed in line with Plantlife’s Managing Grassland Road Verges guidelines which sees the grass cutting at these sites prohibited between March and August each year, giving wildflowers enough time to grow, flower, and set seed.”

He adds, “A cut and collect regime has been implemented to reduce soil fertility and provide the wildflowers with the best conditions possible. These sites will be monitored and borders cut around the sites to ensure there is no impact on the highway network or road safety.”

The project now includes sites in Prestatyn, Rhyl, Meliden, Rhuddlan, Dyserth, Rhewl, Denbigh, Henllan, Nantglyn, Llanferres, Llanrhaeadr, Pwllglas, Ruthin, Corwen, Cynwyd and Llangollen which will all be given a ‘full cut’ in early September.

Park Alafowlia, Denbigh

Since the 1930s the UK has lost 97% of its wildflower meadow habitats, nearly 7.5 million acres, with just 1% of our countryside now providing this vital home for pollinators such as butterflies and bees. In turn this has impacted the wildlife that relies on these meadows for food and shelter, such as hedgehogs, badgers and hares, as well as birds such as the Lapwing, Meadow Pipit and Skylark. This project is an important step to helping to reverse this decline and increase species richness within our county.

With No Mow May approaching and Plantlife’s Every Flower Counts survey running from May 22nd to 31st now is a great time for you to get involved too! You can help by leaving an area of your own garden to grow wild. With 15 million gardens in Britain, our lawns have the potential to become major sources of much needed nectar.

You can find more information, including how to get involved in the survey at https://www.plantlife.org.uk/everyflowercounts/.

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