Locally, a growing number of pieces of land are being used to grow wildflowers, or to allow grass to grow a little taller – from private back gardens to roadside verges, and areas of our public green spaces.
Wildflowers are great for biodiversity, especially pollinators like bees, butterflies, hoverflies and other insects. They also provide a changing palate of colour to the urban environment throughout the seasons and support our wellbeing.
As the seasons change, look out for beautiful bulbs, wildflowers and flowering lawns in and around the borough including Locations such as Lockfield Drive, a number of roundabouts and highway verges, Millmoor and St Johns Lye Commons, and the Sewage Treatment Works in Old Woking.
A number of partners are contributing to the collective effort to maintain these wildflower meadows including the council’s environmental partner Serco, New Vision Homes, Woking Environment Action and Natural Goldsworth Park volunteers and Thames Water, as well as many interested individuals.
Some grass areas will continue to be mowed regularly, whilst others will have fewer cuts so they can grow longer and allow wildflowers to bloom. Some green spaces are managed as meadows, cut only once each year, in late summer. Each year we monitor how well the wildflowers grow, so we can evolve our approach for better results in the future.
This work complements many other green initiatives the council is undertaking through which we are delivering our Woking 2050 climate change and Natural Woking biodiversity and green infrastructure ambitions.
Create your own wildflower meadow
Follow these tips to create your own wildflower bed or mini meadow in your own garden:
- Some wildflowers can be grown from seed, such as perennial natives, annual natives, perennial non-natives or annual non-natives.
- You can buy wildflower turf that contains perennial native or perennial non-native wildflowers.
- Plug or bulb planting can be used to create wildflower borders and meadows.
- Flowering lawns can be created by reducing the number of times you mow the grass. This gives existing lower growing plant species, such as common bird’s-foot-trefoil and clover, a chance to flower between cuts.
- Sometimes simply clearing an area of soil can also give plants in the existing seed bank of native wildflowers a chance to grow.Be inspired by Plantlife’s connected meadows project.
- RHS Grass Roots magazine has lots of useful tips. On page 10 of the autumn 2019 edition you will find an article on wild verges by Helen Bostock, RHS Senior Horticultural Advisor.