In the last few years, over three million bulbs and millions of wildflowers have been planted for the council’s Wildlife Ways project – and now that Spring is on its way, the borough is awash with colour as the bulbs and flowers begin to bloom.
As well as bulb planting – including crocuses, Alliums, Wild Daffodils, Snowdrops, Bluebells and Wood Anemones – the project has overseen 26 hectares of wildflower seeding and 48,000 square metres of wildflower turf. That’s the equivalent of around 57 football pitches of wildflowers! The wildflowers in the turf and seed mixes are full of vibrant colour and include Oxeye Daisy, Wild Carrot, Red Campion, Yellow Rattle, Common Knapweed, Lesser Stitchwort and Musk Mallow.
But besides making our streets more beautiful, the verge side planting has a serious side. The bulbs and wildflowers provide food for pollinators, including bees which are in sharp decline. They also help insects, birds and mammals move across the borough between parks and open spaces preventing these spaces from becoming ‘islands’ and encouraging wildlife to flourish.
Solihull Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Highways, Cllr Ken Hawkins, explained: “Wildlife Ways has overseen a huge amount of planting across the borough since 2019. The project is giving some much needed support to local wildlife and local ecosystems while at the same time making our streets more attractive places to live, walk and work.
“The project is coming to an end soon – though there are still another 3,000 bulbs to be planted! – however we will reap the benefits from this investment in nature for many decades to come.
“Last year I know people really valued seeing these beautiful flowers during their daily exercise and many people sent in photos they had taken while out and about to the Wildlife Ways project team. We’d really appreciate people sharing their pictures of Solihull in bloom on social media too – so that even more people can enjoy them.”
Share your photos of the Wildlife Ways bulbs and flowers on social media and use the hashtag – #bloomingwildlifeways
For more information about Wildlife Ways – the council’s £16.8 million project, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund – visit www.wildlifeways.co.uk