Portsmouth could get a 'wildflower meadow' - on the side of a major road

COLOURFUL rows of wildflowers could become a regular sight along the side of a major road as part of a trial to boost biodiversity in the city.

Monday, 22nd July 2019, 10:23 am
Updated Monday, 22nd July 2019, 6:07 pm
Copnor Road. Picture: Google Maps

Described as a 'pollinator friendly corridor,' the council is considering reseeding the grass verges by the top half of Copnor Road in Portsmouth with the hope poppies, daisies and cornflowers will spring up.

This could attract bees and other insects, as well as encouraging more people to walk and cycle, the council said.

Portsmouth City Council's environment and climate change cabinet member, Councillor Dave Ashmore, believed there could be scope for similar schemes in the future. He said: 'This is such a fantastic idea because it will boost wildlife in the city but also it's another way to tackle air quality.

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Copnor Road. Picture: Google Maps

'It will also help make the area look nicer and hopefully encourage more people to walk or cycle.

'I attended a climate change conference the other day and this was one of the things authorities can do. But there's so much more as well like living walls which have plants growing on the sides of buildings instead up just tiles.'

The verges would be reseeded with a mix of native wildflower seedlings at regular intervals, and would be allowed to grow tall rather than being mown.

Ian McCulloch, chairman of Portsmouth Green Party, said: ‘We would absolutely support this.

'The council has a massive resource in its green spaces and a lot can be done to increase biodiversity by managing those areas better - even utilising small spaces like verges can make such a difference.

'The only real cost would be maintaining it as with these verges if they get too high they can cause visibility issues and of course safety comes first.'

Several other UK authorities have their own wildflower verge schemes including Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Birmingham, Newcastle and Sheffield.

Mr McCulloch added: 'I know that other Green Party members around the country have been pushing for this. It looks like Portsmouth could lead the way in the south for this, which would be great.'

If approved the trial would last 12 months with the opportunity to extend in other areas.

A decision will be made at cabinet on Wednesday, July 24.