Wildflowers to bloom across Plymouth

With Spring just around the corner, even more wildflowers are set to bloom across the city and this year, you can find out where.

We’ve put together an interactive map of the whole city which will show you exactly where we have created designated wildflower meadows and the places where we will be leaving them to grow naturally.

It follows last year’s successful trial of leaving a few verges and boundaries in certain areas of the city to grow wilder.

Some of the results were spectacular with wonderful patches of colour appearing where once there was just green. 

Of course, just as last year, we won’t be letting everything grow wild. We will continue to keep the parks and open spaces that are so vital to people’s wellbeing managed. This will make sure that they provide great places to visit and we’ll still need to cut some areas to ensure that roads are safe.

Where we’ve got grassy areas that are of more use to wildlife than people, like steep banks and verges, we’ll be cutting around the edges and then leaving the rest to grow wild. We’ll then cut them later in the year to allow more types of plant a chance to grow.

The map below shows all of the grass that we’re responsible for maintaining around the city.  

The blue bits are our designated wildflower meadows. Our teams have spent time seeding and maintaining these and we can’t wait to see them bloom! Check out our wildflower meadow page to find out more about how we look after these areas.

Everything that is yellow will be cut as per our normal grass-cutting schedule, around every four weeks depending on ground and weather conditions. 

But the orange bits will be left to grow wild. In these areas we’ll go round the edges to keep paths and roads unobstructed but leave most of it for nature to do its thing.

“This strategy is just one of a number of ways that we are trying to do things a bit differently to help the environment and tackle the climate emergency”, explains Councillor Sue Dann, Cabinet member for Street Scene and Environment.

“In 2021, we’ll be building on last year’s success, where we began to tip the balance by increasing the grassland managed for nature from 15 per cent to 40 per cent. 

“I can’t wait to see the blooming purples, yellows, blues and pinks; a city awash with colour that not only looks beautiful, but also creates homes for the wildlife vital to our fight against climate change.” 

We’ll level with you. Once the weather starts getting a bit warmer, a few of the areas marked in orange may start out by looking a bit scruffy. But, and it’s a big but, the happy by-product of this is strategy is that we will allow wildflower seed to set in the places we’ve decided not to cut. Once they have been allowed to set seed, they can then be cut back to ensure that the wildflowers return next year.

This will be great news for people and wildlife. Longer grass and flowers provide food and homes for pollinating insects like bees and butterflies – and all manner of wildlife, help reduce our total carbon footprint and by the summer, will mean there will be all kinds of wonderful colours where once there was only green.

Just as we did last year, we’ll be keeping an eye on how everything blooms and sharing updates on the kind of flowers that are blooming, where you can find them and the different kinds of wildlife that our teams are noticing because of them. We'll also be working with volunteers in their local communities to watch what is changing and to look after some sites.

Make sure you’re following us at Nature Plymouth to keep up to date.