Visit Cheltenham’s wildflower meadows and give us your views

Published on 15th July 2014

Urban meadows. Poppies in Cheltenham in July 2014

Wildflowers are blooming in Cheltenham thanks to a project to create colourful urban meadows.

Cheltenham is known as the town within a park, and this year the council’s parks team has expanded on the wild urban meadows scheme, planting a total area of 75,000 square metres. This has increased from just 7,500 square metres planted last summer.

Three seed mixes have been used; one is a traditional cornfield mix and the other is a special mix developed to commemorate the centenary of WW1 and includes Flanders poppies, Bishops Flower, Red Flax and Cosmos. The third mix includes California poppies, cornflowers and marigolds.

The project aims to promote the use of nectar rich plants in parks and open spaces and make these spaces more visually attractive for residents and visitors to the town.

Janice Peacey, community ranger, explains: “We’d really like to get feedback from local residents to gain their thoughts on the urban meadows and whether they feel that they have enhanced these parts of our town.

“Studies by Buglife have found that 97 per cent of species rich meadows have been lost since World War I and in recent years many other organisations have also helped promote the need to increase the number of wildflower meadows to support endangered wildlife.”

Councillor Chris Coleman, cabinet member for clean and green environment, added: “These wonderful wildflower meadows serve as a poignant reminder of the Flanders fields in WWI whilst also giving great benefit to the environment. I’m very pleased with the results and will be interested to hear our residents’ views.”

Some of the sites where the urban meadows can be found include Pittville Park, alongside the tennis courts; Montpellier Gardens; the Honeybourne Line by Queen’s Road; St.Peter’s Park just off Princess Elizabeth Way; Cox’s Meadow; Hatherley Park; and Royal Well bus station. The grass was treated earlier in the year before being seeded.

The borough council and Gloucestershire Wildlife trust are running an event about the urban meadows in Pittville Park next month (August) with a display of the flowers, a bug hunt and a seed collection for visitors to join in. The event will be held from 10am to 3pm on Thursday 28 August.

Feedback on the scheme is very welcome; please email comments to the council at parksandgardens@www.cheltenham.gov.uk


For press enquiries, contact: Kelly Carter, communications officer, telephone 01242 264154 or email: kelly.carter@www.cheltenham.gov.uk

Photographs are available on request, please contact communications as above.

Notes:

A number of different seed companies and mixes have been used in this project to match the site with a display.

The ‘Old Comrade Mix’ has been planted in areas where a large numbers of people can see them. This mix includes Flanders Poppies, Bishops Flax and Cosmos. Find the displays in Swindon Village Park, Cox’s Meadow, Sandford Park by Mill Stone, St Peter’s ,Princess Elizabeth Way, Hatherley Park, Honeybourne Line Queen’s Road, Montpellier Gardens, Royal Well bus station and Pittville Park along the Evesham Road.

Jenner Gardens has complimentary planting of yellow and orange California poppies in the centre of the lavender borders of the path.

Winston Churchill Memorial Gardens has a mix is used by farmers to encourage pollinating insects to their crops and gives a wonderful array of colour along the red of the brick wall.

The bank at King George V playing field has been planted up with a specially designed mix for minimum maintenance and includes 27 species of plants.

Coronation Square and Benhall roundabouts have been planted with a vivid mix of 29 species which are low growing to prevent reduced visibility. One reason why these sites were chosen was to provide users of the A40 a visual impact on their journey through Cheltenham.

Pittville Park, either side of Tommy Taylors Lane, has been planted with a traditional cornfield mix of species along with an amount of cereal seed to provide the feel of the cornfields of years gone by.

Buglife is devoted to the conservation of all invertebrates, and is actively working to save Britain’s rarest little animals. For more information visit.