#LetItGrow is a project aimed at promoting both biodiversity and natural grassland across Solihull.
Since the 1930’s the UK has lost 97% of its wildflower meadows drastically impacting on populations of butterflies, birds, bees and other pollinating insects. This project will look to nurture their return to the borough and also highlight the beauty of the natural environment.
The project involves two different methods to achieve these aims:
1. Continuation of creating man made high impact pure wildflower areas
Over the last couple of years pure wildflower areas have been sown in locations across the borough and have always been gladly welcomed by residents for both their beauty and their ability to support pollinators.
We have received lots of extremely positive feedback from all generations that has led to many requests from residents asking for them to be introduced into their neighbourhoods.
This year some of the sites have been sown with a heavy poppy mix in commemoration of a hundred years since the end of World War One.
Pure wildflower areas will be located at:
- Hockley Heath, Kineton Lane / A4300
- Bentley Heath Park
- Shirley Park
- Meriden, Maxstoke Lane
- Bickenhill, Bickenhill Lane / Airport Way island
- Chelmsley Wood, A452 / Birmingham Road
- Chelmsley Wood, Lowbrook Way
- Chelmsley Wood, Winchester Drive / Bosworth Drive
- Chelmsley Wood, Kingshurst Brook off Winchester Drive
2. Naturalising grassland in our parks and open spaces
This part of the project is a trial, and will involve allowing areas of traditionally close mown amenity grassland to grow and naturalise. Close mown grass offers little in terms of environmental quality to our parks whilst longer grass provides a habitat for animals and insects. Also, this allows the opportunity for wildflower species that may have lay dormant under the soil to finally grow and bloom.
Trial sites that will be left to grow have been carefully selected to ensure minimal impact on areas that have a high recreational value and will be blended into the surrounding environment.
Each year around early Autumn these sites will be given a conservation cut whereby the grass is cut down and the cuttings mulched or removed. This process promotes biodiversity and will improve the long term aesthetics of the locations. It is expected that these sites will need time to mature in order to reach their potential.
For both of the above methods we will be reaching out to local community groups, schools and businesses to encourage pride and ownership of their local meadow areas. Parks and Open Spaces will also host signage with information and educational material about the #LetItGrow areas.
There will be a photography competition asking for residents to send in their best pictures and we will also be carrying out some community focused activities over the next twelve months including plug planting, flower identification, bug hunts and creating pathways to promote interaction.
Overall this campaign aims to put the ‘Rure’ back into the ‘Urbs’ of Solihull and increase bio-diversity whilst encouraging communities to embrace nature. We want to turn currently void spaces into beautiful and inspiring wildlife havens for everyone to enjoy.
Finally it is important to stress that this project is very flexible and we recognise that changes such as increased areas of naturalised grassland, may not be suitable in practice and once established on the ground. Therefore any feedback from our customers and communities is very much welcomed and will be used to help us evaluate these methods at the end of the year and redefine any areas if needed for next year’s growing season.
If you would like to provide some feedback for this project please contact us or submit a customer comment.
Submit a customer comment