Published on 21st October 2022
Seeds gathered from Cheltenham’s land and hills sown in Cheltenham’s largest ornamental park
Friends of Pittville volunteers have helped sow precious wildflower seed - harvested from Leckhampton Hill, among other areas - as part of an innovative new scheme to bring a little piece of the local countryside to Pittville Park.
The seeds, collected by the Glorious Cotswold Grasslands Programme, were gathered to increase biodiversity, pollination and to try to recreate some of the flora found in the countryside in an urban setting, as part of an initiative by the council’s green space development team.
Anna Field, Glorious Cotswold Grasslands programme officer, said: “Our Glorious Cotswold Grasslands Programme has seeded over 50 hectares of wildflower grassland in the Cotswolds AONB this year and this is our highest profile site. It is fantastic to see such great engagement from the local community, and I hope this project will educate and inspire visitors to Pittville Park about the benefits of wildflowers and all the wildlife that depends on them.”
Wayne Sedgwick, senior community ranger, said: “We are excited to be working with local volunteers, the Cotswolds National Landscape team, and our councillors including our mayor, to experiment with seeding an area in Pittville Park with native Cotswold Wildflower seed.
“This also brings an opportunity for us to create our own seed bank in the future by re-sowing the seed we harvest each autumn. In coming years we hope to be able start spreading this seed to other areas of our town.”
Cllr Iain Dobie, cabinet member for waste, recycling and street services, said: “I’m very proud that our green space team has teamed up with the Glorious Cotswold Grassland scheme to help secure the future of our precious grassland.
“The wildflowers on Leckhampton Hill are breath-taking to see as well as providing a home for our pollinators, invertebrates and other wildlife. To be able to bring a little of that joy into our award winning green spaces will be of huge benefit. It will look beautiful for our residents and visitors.
“I look forward to seeing these seeds grow into wild flowers and offer insects and pollinators much needed nectar and pollen during the next growing season and years ahead.’’
Cllr Sandra Holliday, mayor of Cheltenham, continued: “This is such a great initiative! Our much loved and award winning landscape of Leckhampton Hill and Charlton Kings Common, should be widely appreciated and I was delighted to offer a helping hand alongside all the wonderful volunteers at Pittville Park.”
For more information on the council’s parks and gardens, visit www.cheltenham.gov.uk/parks. Further information about work on the natural environment and biodiversity visit the council’s webpages on climate and sustainability.
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