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Wildflower planting creates a buzz

22 June 2018

A bee resting on a cornflower.​​

Bees, butterflies and a host of small insects and animals are getting the boost they need thanks to our scheme.

This year, 10 sites across the borough have been chosen to host annual flower meadows including Middleton bus station, Hopwood Park and Sudden junction.

The European Commission states that 1 in 10 pollinating insects is on the verge of extinction, and a third of bee and butterfly species is declining. According to Friends of the Earth, 97% of wildflower meadows in the UK have been lost since 1945, leaving bees hungry and homeless.

Bees naturally feed on the flowers made by long grasses and wildflowers such as those found in meadows.

A wildflower meadow.

Blooming brilliant for wildlife

We've been working hard to ensure the borough remains 'in bloom' and a haven for wildlife while they carry out essential day to day services.

We adopted naturalising grass verge and open space plans – changing how land is managed and reducing pesticide use to help encourage more bees and other insects. This includes the seeding of wildflowers along road verges, appropriate landscaping of highways, verge cutting and maintaining parks in ways that are sympathetic to pollinators.

Over time the verges will need less cutting, reducing costs through reduced traffic management needs and will deliver a higher quality roadside environment.

Protecting tasty treats

Councillor Neil Emmott, cabinet member for environment said: "As a council we play an important role in habitat protection, restoration and creation. We know how vital bees and other wildlife are for pollination and are committed to delivering a healthy environment for them. Seeding wildflowers is an attractive way to achieve this by creating places where insects can forage and find shelter. This project will help to improve urban areas and strikes a balance between maintaining our beautiful borough, driver safety and nurturing wildlife."

Pollination by bees is said to be worth £430 million per year to British agricultural production. Bees pollinate much of the food that makes our diets healthy and tasty – from the apples in our lunchboxes to the tomatoes on our pizzas. 

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