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Giving nature a chance to bloom in North East Lincolnshire

11:43 am, Thursday, 4th June 2020 - 5 months ago


Roadsides in North East Lincolnshire are being transformed as part of a new nature project.

The wildflower management scheme encourages biodiversity by allowing plants and animals to flourish.

Grass verges at a select few sites will not be mowed to allow wildflowers to plant and set seed to create ‘green corridors’ for wildlife.

The wildflowers will be native and localised and suited to the local environment which is beneficial to Lincolnshire wildlife.

Councillor Stewart Swinburn, cabinet member for environment at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “Grass cutting will scaled back in some areas to create attractive natural areas while reducing the need for management.

“Seeded areas help to control the growth of grass and reduce the need for grass cutting, and bring natural beauty to our roadsides.

“Operations will continue as normal in the rest of the borough while this takes place.

“Wildflowers not only look stunning, but are also home to birds, bees and butterflies, ensuring a bright future for wildlife in our borough.”

Flowers can also help to prevent flooding, as the plants absorb excess water.

Signs have been put up on Humberstone Road, Kings Road, outside Grimsby Municipal Offices and along the banks of Cleethorpes Boating Lake to identify the wildflower areas.

Flowers will be planted in these areas over the coming weeks, to add to the wildflower sites already found across the borough.

Different species will flower from year to year, adding variety to roadsides, as biannual flowers bloom every two years.

Wildflowers were planted on roadside verges in 2019, which have been very popular with residents and visitors.

Rachel Graham, ecology manager at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “These are natural regeneration areas where we haven’t planted any seeds. Some flowers bloom on their own without the need for intervention.

“Different plants need different types of soil and nutrients to thrive.  The grass verges were selected for their soil, which already supports wildflowers.

“Bee orchids are already present in these areas, which is a good indicator there will be diverse potential for other wildflowers at those sites.

“One in seven flower species in the UK is at risk of extinction, so it’s important we do what we can to buck that trend.”

Bee orchids emerge before other vegetation grows. They can be identified by the rosettes of leaves they produce before the flower stem and bud appear in June.

North East Lincolnshire Council has an interactive map to show which grassy areas are being maintained. Visit iShare Maps to see the status in your area.

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