- Centaurea nigra
- Quantity: five per cent
We have now started to deliver our five-year Wildflower and Grassland Strategy action plan.
The feedback we received on this was incredible and we have been contacted by residents, parish councils, businesses and community groups all wanting to know how they can play their part to encourage wildflowers and boost biodiversity in the borough to help pollinators like bees.
We will create 45 mini native wildflower meadows across the borough - one in each of our ward areas. These have been selected by our councillors following discussions with their residents.
Ground preparation might look bare at first, because large expanses of soil will be exposed as we remove grass from the meadow sites. Grass can compete with wildflowers so it is important we remove it. Then seed sowing can begin.
We have consulted with the National Wildflower Centre at the Eden Project to identify the best mix to suit the Cheshire landscape. Boston Seeds has been chosen as the main supplier of seed due to its extensive variety of native pollinators and mixes.
Residents can order the seed mix direct from Boston Seeds for their own gardens. Their website has some helpful guides on how to create a wildflower meadow in residential gardens.
Between late August and October, meadows will be cut with the cuttings left on the surface for around seven to 10 days. This is deliberate as it allows the seeds to disperse into the soil surface, regenerating the meadow for next year. The cuttings will then be collected up.
With a grant from Chester Zoo, the Council has purchased a tractor and mini-baler, which will easily pick up the cut grass and create bales of wildflower/ grass that can be easily handled.
This will be taken to our green waste processing facility, however we are also interested to hear from local residents/ businesses/ farmers who may able to make use of the bales.
Following the collection of the cuttings, the meadow will be sown again to ensure the species become established.
This is a five-year programme and we plan to expand the number of meadow sites and involve residents and communities more and more as we work through our action plan. Details of how you can get involved will appear on this page.
Our Your Streets Officers, in partnership with Chester Zoo, can offer help and support, training and tools so that communities can come together to ensure these special areas of biodiversity thrive.
Across the UK, volunteers grow wildflower plants at home, and hold planting days to help enrich their wildflower meadows. Regular weeding, monitoring of insects and plants, whilst increasing the percentage of wildflower species will ensure the success of this project for generations.
Throughout the summer, our Your Streets Officers will be contacting ward councillors with various information packs to allow them to engage with residents, while offering support for current and future projects.