Innovation

Making Wildflowers Count

This project proves wildflowers can bring colour and a smile to the heart of our Cities, and as a flagship really send out signals about what is possible with colourful and expanding blocks of wildflowers in the heart of two great northern cities of Liverpool and Manchester, and the important spaces and places in between. For example our own flagship work in Knowsley, the original one and only Wildflower Borough, and home of the National Wildflower Centre.

Over the years we have pushed the boundaries of where wildflowers can go in our town and cities in being advocates for urban wildlife and bringing the best of ecological land practice into people’s living space, to create places that are dynamic and inspiring, for the important reasons of environmental and social justice.

Techniques

We have pioneered the use of huge ploughs turning the topsoil underneath the subsoil to improve opportunities for species diversity, in places where the topsoil is too rich and productive. We have shown you can grow wildflower on all kinds of unusual substrates- from China Clay waste to shredded banknotes and a wide selection of waste materials, and proved they can be the resilient and important outcome for landscape solutions, and prove legacy and commitment to biodiversity in the heart of our Cities.

From Local to Global and Back Again

Visits to the National Wildflower Centre have been wide and far travelled from Chengdu in China, and Mexico City, across the globe, and our work is world famous. We hope we can influence others to celebrate the beauty and inspiration of nature, and be energised by giving nature a helping hand. We can help put nature back in our daily lives.

Merseyside’s Wildflower Seed Industry

The best part of our project is building on what we have already achieved. 40 years of experience in creative conservation, and experience growing wildflower seed on Merseyside, arising from establishing Knowsley as the official Wildflower Borough back in 1992 (By Early Day Motion in the House of Commons). This culminated in the opening of a Millennium Project – The National Wildflower Centre in 2000, one of very few Millennium projects to have an environmental focus, two notable others being Kew Gardens Millennium Seed Bank and the Eden Project in Cornwall. Both of which are partners, and with whom we have had contact for many years, even before winning the Kew’s England Wildflower Flagship by public vote.

All the wildflower seed sown on the project is supplied by National Wildflower Centre Seeds and locally grown in the North West, in Merseyside, with over 100 acres Wildflower Fields, in Knowsley and St.Helens, at places like Ribblers Lane, Kirkby, and Inglenook and Fir Tree Farm’s in St. Helens.  Fir Tree Farm itself is a great place to visit for the sight of vast fields of cornflowers especially.

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Carol, Rolls Crescent Primary School