Wild flowers making a comeback

Derbyshire Dales District Council is working with local people to address an alarming decline in wildflowers on local road verges and open spaces. 

Councillors recently voted unanimously to take steps to increase biodiversity - and already 12 pilot sites have been created across the district. 

At these sites verges are being cut less frequently to reverse a decline across the whole country that has seen 97% of wildflower meadows lost in a century. 

The council is working with and supporting local community groups such as Wilder of Wirksworth, where volunteers have been sowing wildflower seeds and potting on wildflowers from members' gardens to plant out in the verge on the corner of Summer Lane. 

A District Council spokesperson said:

"Road verges are vital habitats for plants, invertebrates, small mammals and birds and form green corridors linking wild spaces.  

"Sadly the biodiversity of road verges has declined dramatically due to being mowed too regularly, at the wrong time of year or neglected and allowed to develop into scrub. 

"As a council we are responding to requests from local residents to cut verges less frequently and allow plants to flower, set seed and flourish. 

"Most of our pilot sites are home to wildflowers already and they are being left uncut until late summer. A couple of the sites are typical grass verges and here we are supporting local community groups in creating new wildflower zones."   

The council will learn from the pilot sites and look to extend the number of wildflower verges next year, while supporting additional community groups that wish to create their own.

As well as road verges, the project will focus on parks and open spaces in the district, creating “wildlife corridors” and educational messages and information with help from local schools.

Seed sowing Wilder Wirksworth
Seed sowing Wilder Wirksworth

Verge planting Wilder Wirksworth
Verge planting Wilder Wirksworth


Derbyshire Dales District Council is working with local people to address an alarming decline in wildflowers on local road verges and open spaces. 

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