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Make Exeter bloom brighter by backing wildflower scheme

Published: 27 August 2019

Backing the scheme will help create more area like this across the city

People are being asked to help increase Exeter’s wildflowers by backing a project that seeks to brighten up the city even more.

Devon Wildlife Trust has launched a Blooming Wild Devon Crowdfunder scheme to create more wildflower meadows across the county.

In Exeter the Trust are joining up with the City Council to further enhance the displays of wildflowers that have been bursting with colour on roadside verges, roundabouts and open spaces.

People are being asked to support the scheme by donating to Blooming Wild Devon. People have until Friday to make their pledges and can do so by clicking visiting the Devon Wildlife Trust - Blooming Wild Devon Crowfunder page.

Cllr David Harvey, Lead Councillor for Environment & City Management, said: “Everyone has been thrilled by the displays of wildflowers over the past few years – it’s brought so much joy to residents and visitors, seeing the colourful blooms.

“However, there is only so much we can do as a local authority. Working with Devon Wildlife Trust we are looking to enhance the displays throughout the city and make Exeter even more colourful!”

In Exeter the plan is to connect wildflower-rich areas throughout the city. Working together, DWT and the City Council will link up the existing urban meadows to make a colourful network of green spaces linked by wildflower road verges.

The partnership will be looking to introduce yellow rattle to some verges in the same way that meadows are restored in rural areas and use more perennial plants. This should make meadows more long-lasting – and the joined-up wildflower-rich corridors will be even better for pollinators.

All pledges of at least £10 will receive a pack of wildflower seeds, of the same mix used by DWT on road verges, roundabouts and in parks, allowing people to create their own wildflower mini-meadow in their garden or backyard. Pledge at least £15 and choose your wildflower gardening guide – how to make a meadow, gardening for bats or gardening for bees.

Pete Burgess, Devon Wildlife Trust’s Director of Conservation & Development, said: “DWT and ECC have worked together for more than a decade to make Exeter a wilder city. Our wildflower meadow creation has also been supported by businesses, communities and schools, who have helped make parks, verges and roundabouts buzz with wildlife.

“The displays which last from Spring through to early Autumn are truly stunning and the best thing is that we have helped inspire communities citywide to make their local patches even richer in wildlife. We want to see more wildflower areas across Exeter and any contribution to the Blooming Wild Devon crowdfunder in the next couple of days can help make that happen.”

The scheme is also looking to support the establishment of new wildflower meadows across the county.

Wildflower-rich meadows and grasslands are precious places for wildlife. A lifeline for bumblebees, butterflies and other pollinating insects, meadows are also a food source for seed-eating birds, offer shelter for small mammals and provide hunting grounds for bats and insect-eating birds.

However traditional wildflower meadows have vanished from much of our countryside. Nationwide, a staggering 97% of flower-rich grasslands have been lost since the 1930s.

But all is not lost! Although some wildflower meadows have been lost to built development, the majority have disappeared due to changes in land management, especially the intensification of farming after the Second World War. So, by restoring wildflower meadows, and working with landowners to manage them to benefit wildlife, Devon Wildlife Trust is looking to bring back colour and life to Devon’s countryside.

Help us create a blooming wild Devon – please pledge your support today!

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