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Council teams create 11 hectares of wildflower havens in parks

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s StreetCare teams will stop cutting grass in specially selected areas, as a trial in 13 of the borough’s parks to create permanent wildflower meadows this summer.

Councillor Karen Shore, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport said: “I was delighted to hear we will be creating over 11 hectares of wildflower meadows in some of our parkland as part of our Urban Meadows project.

“Early summer is an important time for biodiversity as the first nectar rich flowers are helping to sustain the emerging insect population.  The creation of these wildflower meadows also supports the Council’s climate emergency declaration by reducing carbon emissions.

Helen Tandy from Friends of the Earth’s Chester and District branch said: “The Friends of the Earth team is really excited to be involved in the Urban Meadows project. We have been campaigning to protect our pollinators for over 10 years now and as part of that encouraging more local pollination strategies.

“During lockdown we have been encouraged to see our communities more aware of wildflowers and wild life and are excited to see how this project can improve these areas in our region.”

Cllr Shore added: “The Council’s StreetCare grass cutting teams have been working hard to ensure parks and open spaces retain their high standards for visitors to enjoy as part of Government guidelines on daily exercise during the coronavirus pandemic.”

The new urban meadows will have nectar-rich plants like oxeye daisy, field scabious and knapweed which will provide nectar for bees and other insects into late summer.  This project is part of the Council’s new Pollinator Strategy to boost biodiversity in the borough.

The trial will see the creation of 11 hectares of new wildflower meadows taking place in the following parks:

Ellesmere Port:

  • Whitby Park
  • McGarva Way/ Stoke Gardens
  • Festival Park
  • Seacombe Drive
  • Heath Lane
  • Straker Avenue

Chester:

  • Limewod Fields
  • Handbridge - Watertower Field
  • Dicksons Drive

Northwich and Winsford:

  • Saxons Lane
  • Knights Grange

Rural:

  • Castle Park
  • Stanney Fields

Sites will be identified with signage to explain why the area of parkland is being left to grow, and what you can look out for while walking through the meadow areas.

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