Council launches drive to create new wildflower meadows

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New wildflower meadows are set to be established across Daventry district as part of a community project to support pollinating insects and encourage biodiversity.

Daventry District Council’s (DDC) Mini Wildflower Meadows scheme will see seeds donated to five communities so they can create small havens for wildlife at suitable spots in their area.

The council can provide up to 600g of seed to each of the five groups, which is enough to cover about 300 square metres – roughly the size of a tennis court.

Planting will take place in either May or September, depending on the seed type, and support will be available from the Northamptonshire Wildlife Trust.

Groups that have potential sites in mind and would like to take part are being urged to apply to the council now by visiting www.daventrydc.gov.uk/wildflowers or by phoning the council’s community projects team on 01327 871100. The deadline for applications is 4.30pm on Tuesday, April 5.

The Mini Wildflower Meadows scheme follows on from the successful Big Poppy Plant held in 2014 to commemorate the centenary of the start of the First World War, as well as the Big Wildflowers Project that followed it.

More than 35 communities across the district took part in those schemes, which aimed to create new habitats in the district for pollinator insects such as butterflies, hoverflies, beetles and wild bees, which are in decline in the UK.

Councillor Jo Gilford, environment portfolio holder on Daventry District Council, said: “The Big Poppy Plant and Big Wildflowers Projects both proved hugely successful, not only in creating wildflower havens in the areas that took part, but also helping to foster community spirit.

“We hope this project will prove just as successful, encouraging communities to develop wildflower areas for everyone to enjoy and benefiting local biodiversity. It might even inspire residents to grow wildflowers in their own gardens.”

Jeff Ollerton is Professor of Biodiversity at the University of Northampton and a committee member on the Northamptonshire Local Nature Partnership, which aims to drive positive change in the county’s natural environment

He said: “Daventry’s scheme is a great way of encouraging more habitats for pollinating insects.

“Northamptonshire needs new habitats and the Northamptonshire Local Nature Partnership is very keen to support such projects. The direct involvement of local communities in the initiative is an excellent way of helping people to enhance our natural environment.”