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Exeter preparing to go wild this summer

Published: 29 April 2021

Prince Charles Road Prince Charles Road

Roadside verges, roundabouts and various patches of land in Exeter are being prepared for a riot of colour later in the year.

Wild flower seeds are being sown throughout Exeter 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 do the impressive displays of colour look beautiful to the eye, they attract a wide variety of insects and pollinators.

In previous 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, said: “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: “Once again we’re beginning to see the first green shoots appearing along the city’s roads and in its public spaces. In the coming weeks these will transform to become a blaze of colour.

“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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