Locally, a growing number of areas of land are being used to grow wildflowers or to allow grass to grow taller – from private back gardens to roadside verges and areas of public green space.
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 on 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 effort to maintain these wildflower meadows including the council’s environmental partner Serco, Woking Environment Action, Natural Goldsworth Park volunteers and Thames Water, as well as many interested individuals.
Some grass areas in the borough continue to be mowed regularly, whilst others 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 a wildflower bed or mini meadow in your own garden:
- Some wildflowers can be grown from seeds, such as perennial and annual natives and non-natives like marigolds and daises.
- 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.