After two long years of hard work and dedication, Lib Dem Councillor Barbara Masters has successfully lobbied Amey to trial growing wildflowers on pockets of land with the view to this being rolled out across the city.
Wildflowers are an important part of the ecosystem and play a vital role in supporting biodiversity. They are also important for pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
The decline of wildflower meadows across the country has been a cause for concern in recent years, as it has had a negative impact on both wildlife and the environment.
Councillor Barbara Masters has successfully lobbied Amey to give communities control over planting wildflowers on grass verges.
These spaces are ordinarily mowed as part of Amey’s highway maintenance, but now Amey is taking a more relaxed approach to verges. This will allow communities to grow wildflowers on them, making their communities more colourful and boosting biodiversity.
The trial run has begun on Highcliffe Drive, High Storrs. If the trial is successful, it is possible that the initiative will be rolled out across Sheffield.
This would be a great step forward in reversing the decline of wildflower meadows and would help to address the issue of climate change.
Barbara, who has worked to make this policy for the past two years, said, “Thanks to the combined effort we believe a way forward has been found.
“Amey can take on the insurance if it takes responsibility for preparing the ground. In autumn Amey will strip the grass off plots agreed suitable by the local community and sow yellow rattle, a plant that suppresses grass growth.
“This will give any wildflowers that seed the site a good chance of becoming established. If residents wish to help nature by scattering wildflower seeds suited to the site that’s great.
“After that Amey will mow the area completely every autumn as well as ensure a narrow border around the sites will be maintained so that roads and paths are kept clear as part of their normal summer mowing schedule.
“So Amey is helping us do a trial run on Highcliffe Drive this year. They’ve given our plot a really close shave and we’ve exposed patches of soil which we’ve sown with wildflower seeds. We’ll find out in a few weeks how effective this has been.
“If it’s successful and the policy is adopted, residents can ask their local area committees to consider funding similar schemes. Not only does it boost biodiversity, it’s also a great way of getting to know more of our neighbours.”