Road verges to blossom as council plants 17 million seeds

Gazette Series: Cllr Simon Pickering helping to plant some of the 17 million seeds on Stroud district's road verges in coming weeks (5398427) Cllr Simon Pickering helping to plant some of the 17 million seeds on Stroud district's road verges in coming weeks (5398427)

ROAD verges in Cam are set to blossom as Stroud District Council prepares to plant 17 million wildflower seeds.

In order to brighten up the area for residents and make it more welcoming for visitors, Stroud District Council will be sowing wildflower seeds on road verges around the district.

The initiative will also have benefits for the district’s hard pressed bees and other pollinating insects.

Over 17 million seeds will be sown on some of the most prominent approaches to Stroud including Bristol Road and the Ebley bypass as well as in areas of Cam and Hardwicke.

The council will be using a wildflower seed mix which includes colourful blooms like corn marigold, corn cockle and, with the centenary of the First World War in mind, field poppies.

The total cost for ground preparation, sowing, and for the seed for all the wildflower areas is £9,862, compared.

This compares favourably to cost of a traditional summer seasonal bedding display, which to cover the same area would have cost £175,823.

Chairman of Stroud District Council’s environment committee, Cllr Simon Pickering, said the wildflower verges would make a cost-effective attractive addition to our district this summer. “They are less expensive to create and manage than formal flowerbeds and much better for wildlife. We’re hoping for a blooming good display!” he said.

Stroud District Council’s public spaces officer Mark Graham said: “Many bees and other pollinating insects which depend on nectar bearing plants for their survival are in decline and this could have a drastic effect on human food production.

“By providing nectar rich plants we are helping to support the bees and other insects which in turn we depend on for pollination of food plants and trees.”

The Stroud Valleys Project helped with the initial surveys to help identify the most appropriate types of planting for each area and if the scheme is successful, the council hopes to extend it to other areas of the district in the future.

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