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Bloomin’ beautiful – Exeter explodes in riot of colour

Published: 15 June 2021

Wildflowers in Prince Charles Road

Roadside verges, roundabouts and various patches of land in Exeter have broken out in a riot of colour as wildflowers have started to bloom.

Wild flower seeds have been sown throughout the city as part of the Wild City project.

Wild City – now over ten years old - sees Exeter City Council work closely with Devon Wildlife Trust to encourage nature into the city.

Not only are the impressive displays of colour beautiful to look at, they also attract a wide variety of insects and pollinators.

Over recent years the wild flower displays have proved popular with residents and visitors alike.

Initially the Council chose 32 sites. Community groups and schools were involved in the planting.

Louise Harvey, Exeter City Council’s Service Manager for Public and Green Spaces, explained how the Council goes about preparing the flower beds: “At the end of each year, people will have seen wildflower beds left to naturally form seed to fall onto the land and thus starting to create a wildflower seed bank to start the process again the following year.

“This takes time to become self-generating and most years we need to add to the seed bank to keep it thriving. We use a mixture of annuals, perennials and native species of seed.”

The initiative means that not so much grass across the city needs to be cut, saving money and allowing a better standard of grass cutting elsewhere where it needs to be cut.

Stephen Hussey, of Devon Wildlife Trust, said: “This is good for people and for wildlife. The flowers provide nectar sources for the city’s insect populations. Moths, butterflies and beetles all use these wild flower patches. Together they also help to link other green spaces across the city such as the Valley Parks, gardens and allotments. This helping to give nature a home in Exeter.”

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