Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has agreed to manage and maintain fifteen wildflower grass verges and sites borough-wide as part of an ecology preservation initiative. The introduction of these wildflower sites will help local wildflowers and wildlife flourish, protect natural habitats and bring a splash of colour to many parts of the borough, where ‘relaxed mowing’ will be introduced to give flowers the chance to set seed.
Recognising the benefits of green space and biodiversity in towns, villages and across local roads, council has agreed to increase the number of wildflower sites they manage and maintain from four to fifteen, as a result of public interest. While this increases habitats for wildflowers and pollinators – it has the additional benefit of reducing operational costs. Grass-cutting is a significant cost to council, both financially and in terms of labour resources within the Grounds Maintenance department.
Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Glenn Barr, comments:
“Encouraging wildflowers on road verges and any common space is an excellent way to attract pollinating insects as well as brighten up the local environment. We regularly analyse our four current wildflower sites and are delighted with the benefits they are bringing to local biodiversity. I can’t wait to see them bloom.”
Council’s Environmental Services team currently manage four wildflower sites in the borough. These include meadows at Kernan, Oxford Island, Silverwood and Taghnevan that have recently been independently audited and are regarded as high quality priority habitat sites.