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Flower power coming to a greenspace near you

09 November 2022
A tractor cultivating land for wildflowers
A tractor cultivating land for wildflowers

More wildflower meadows are being created at a number of sites in North Herts to help increase local biodiversity in our fight against climate change.

Biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth – the more different types of animal, plant, and fungi in a given area, the better. It is the backbone of life itself providing so many things we depend on such as clean air, food and water. Restoring and improving biodiversity is our strongest natural defence against climate change. The different plants in a wildflower meadow provide food and shelter for pollinators such as bees, as well as insects, birds, and small mammals like hedgehogs – all of which form a vital part of our ecosystem. Areas of wildflowers, or any grassland, also help store carbon from the air which improves air quality and prevents it from being released into the atmosphere.

The council is working with Countryside Management Service (CMS), part of Hertfordshire County Council’s Countryside and Rights of Way Service (CRoW), on the wilding areas at:

Hitchin

  • Butts Close
  • Ransoms Rec
  • St John’s Rec
  • Swinburn Rec

Baldock

  • Clothall Common

Letchworth

  • Temple Gardens

Royston

  • Twigden Estate

Councillor Steve Jarvis, Executive Member for Environment and Leisure, said: “We have identified these areas as suitable for wildflowers and that will not impact on existing uses. Once established, they will be allowed to grow long and provide a real contrast to the more frequently mown areas of each site.

“We are pleased to continue our wilding work to improve biodiversity throughout the district which encourages pollinators, enhances wildlife habitat and helps clean our air and is a vital part of our fight against climate change.”

In addition to the new sites, more wildflower seeds will be added to the areas which were designated wildflower meadows last year, including Wilbury Recreation Ground and land between Waysbrook and Letchworth Gate in Letchworth, and Walsworth Common in Hitchin.

Cllr James Denselow, Deputy Executive Member for Environment and Leisure, added: “This year, as part of our efforts to increase local biodiversity and reduce our carbon emissions, we have also begun cutting some grass verges less frequently and we’re pleased to report that residents have embraced this move.”