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Launch Day for Wednesfield's Wildflower Meadow

Updated: Mar 22

"This small investment will bring huge dividends in terms of the wildlife it will attract and the opportunities it will bring to raise awareness of the issues of habitat loss for many species due to climate change."

- Greg Brackenridge, Mayor of Wolverhampton

On the 14th September we at Our Cities Wild Islands launched our first ever rewilding project at Wednesfield Park; scattering seeds in the hopes to create a beautiful wildflower meadow. The meadow will be located on either side of a path within Wednesfield Park, adjacent to the skate park, allowing you to walk through this area almost demonstrating our mission to create highways for nature.

Two weeks before the launch date, two equal 400 square metre patches of turf were remove with diggers and a dump truck to make space for the seeds to be evenly scattered, giving them the best chance of blooming. A long time of working with Wolverhampton City Council has led up to this day, from pitching the initial idea of wanting to rewild roundabouts, to working on the idea of beginning with more publicly accessible areas first such as parks and roadside verges. From here we then discovered Wednesfield Park and began on this journey...

Why a wildflower meadow?

Since the 1940s the UK has lost 97% of it's wildflower meadows due to human urbanisation. This is due to the need to make more space for houses, bigger roads, industrial estates and even fields to grow our crop yield. This is just absolutely astonishing and according to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, 'wildflower-rich grasslands are the most important habitat for bumblebees as they provide plants throughout the summer and contain many nectar- and pollen rich plant species.' Not only with bees, wildflower meadows provide habitats for butterflies and beetle species all of which are essential in maintaining our ecosystem. We hope we can help rise plant and insect biodiversity within the UK once again, beginning with this area at Wednesfield Park, and help communities understand the importance of our preserving these areas and looking after our little 6 legged friends.

Wildflower meadows are also great for storing carbon. Our 800 square metres will store approximately 0.24 tonnes (240kg) of carbon annually and even though this may not sound like a lot, the more areas that are rewilded, the more carbon that can be stored which is of course now essential in the current climate crisis. Wildflower meadows are also extremely easy to maintain with only needing to be cut once annually! Surely this is better than maintaining grassland every 6 weeks right?

Bringing communities together...

Mayor of Wolverhampton Councillor, Greg Brackenridge came to launch the event alongside founders Ryan Eddowes and Amber Stanley, ensuring it was a day to remember. The launch also included the Staffordshire Regimental Association, who spread poppy seeds in an effort to provide a place where people can return to and reflect on memories of past loved ones, such as those lost during the Covid-19 pandemic. Alongside the above attendees we must thank:

  • Wolverhampton Council members

  • Wednesfield in Bloom

  • Friends of Wednesfield Park

  • Green Party member - Andrea

  • Severn Trent

  • Wednesfield Academy

  • St Patrick's Primary School

  • Wednesfield Police Force

  • ITV News

All of the above have supported us along the way and came to support our launch day event proving that nature can really help bring communities together.

It really did feel like such a blessing to be able to share this moment with all of these people as it brings hope that so many others from both older and younger generations care for our natural world in the way we do. It also brings hope that if we have already inspired this group of people, we can continue to inspire others to also make change and alter the way the world values our environment.

All that's left to do now is hope that the meadow blooms beautifully so we can continue with our work to help our planet in fighting the effects of climate change.

In the meantime, follow us on social media and keep an eye out for any of our website blog updates to see what else we are getting up to...

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