Green fingered locals turn scrubland into wildflower delight
Published: 17 June 2021
Green-fingered locals in Exeter have put on their gardening gloves to help transform a roadside verge into a wildflower area and haven for wildlife.
Just six months after preparing the ground and sowing seeds at the top of Station Road in Pinhoe, colourful wild flower blooms have now sprung up to impress passers-by and local residents.
The idea for the transformation came from local resident Jessica Liebig, who approached Ebbie Peters, one of Exeter Wellbeing’s ‘Community Builders’ for some help.
Ebbie got in touch with the City Council, who as part of the Wild City project in conjunction with Devon Wildlife Trust, were able to supply wildflower seeds and offer up advice of how to go about prepping the site.
Locals turned out in late October to prepare the site and sow the seeds.
The result is an attractive and colourful flower bed that is already attracting pollinators like butterflies and bees, as well as turning the heads of local residents.
Jessica said: “ 'I wanted to take action to do something positive for wildlife in my local area, particularly after feeling disheartened by the current biodiversity crisis and having a deeper appreciation of the value of wildlife for enhancing my well-being over the last year.
“Although it is only a small patch, the wildflower bed has made a big difference on a local scale, creating a habitat for pollinators - it's really buzzing! - and brightening up the area for the community. The Wild City project and the Council's urban wildflower beds and areas of long grass across the city are fantastic and very inspiring and I'd encourage everyone to take local action for wildlife, no matter how small, it needs our help!”
Cllr David Harvey, Lead Councillor for City Management, said: “This is a wonderful example of how local people can work closely with the City Council to provide something of real beauty and purpose for the local community. It looks stunning and I have to thank everyone involved for the hard work and foresight in making this come to fruition.”
The Wild City initiative – now over ten year old - sees Exeter City Council work closely with Devon Wildlife Trust to encourage nature into the city.
On top of this local project, the Council has an additional 30-plus sites across the city, where roadside verges, roundabouts and various patches of land have been transformed by blooms of wild flowers.
Local communities wishing to get involved in a project similar to that in Pinhoe are invited to contact their local Community Builder by visiting the website at https://communitybuilders.eci.org.uk/ or contact the City Council direct on PGS@exeter.gov.uk