Roadside wildflowers are blooming marvellous

Wildflowers are blooming across the county as many of Northumberland’s verges have exploded in a riot of colour.

 

The county council has been working with a number of town and parish councils  to create new wildflower beds on grass verges in their area.

 

In Blyth, as with other areas, a number of the main roads are currently bordered by a sea of red, blue, yellow and white as the summer weather brings out the best of the plants.

 

Councillor Glen Sanderson, Cabinet Member for Environment and Local Services, said: “We’re well aware it’s a fine balance when it comes to maintaining our roadside verges.

 

“Cutting is vital  to ensure that vegetation does not restrict visibility for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. These works also improve the look of an area and keeps the road network in better condition by preventing plants taking hold on the side of roads.

 

“However we also understand the importance of biodiversity and are fortunate to have verges with plant communities of particularly high conservation value in Northumberland. 

 

“That’s why we have worked with ecology groups including Natural England, North Pennines AONB and the National Park Authority to agree where those verges are and have agreed in recent years to delay cutting over 70 of these until later in the season.”

 

“As well as changing the maintenance arrangements for our high conservation value verges, we have also worked in partnership with several Town and Parish Councils, who have met the additional costs associated with developing and maintaining new wildflower beds at key locations in their local area.

 

“It’s fantastic to see the benefits of this investment and how well some of the new wildflower beds are doing. They don’t just look amazing, they attract insects, birds and are great for biodiversity.

 

“As we recently declared a climate emergency in the county it’s vital we do all we can to safeguard our environment.”

 

Joe Hughes from Blyth Town Council added: “We have had many positive comments from the people of Blyth on how pleased they are with the wildflower planting and how it makes a positive contribution to the encouragement of wildlife and provides a colourful floral balance to the town.”

 
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