Push to restore native wildflowers

Campaign launched to bring native species back to village greens

The charity Flora Locale has launched a campaign to bring more native plants to village greens. It hopes to stop “the spread of countryside blandness and maximise wildlife potential”, as well as prompting the trade to sell a more diverse range of wildflower seeds. Conservation and development manager Liz Manley said: “Village greens can be havens for wild plants that have disappeared from large areas of countryside. In many cases, wild plants characteristic to the local area can return with a little green-fingered help and a change in management.” Manley added that she hopes the wild seed trade will become more responsive to what the public wants because of the campaign. She said many of the wildflower seeds sold were, in fact, cultivars, citing cowslips and bluebells as classic examples. Flora Locale is on hand to advise parish councils and community groups on how to plant green spaces. The main point of its guidance is to take care when placing orders for native species. All orders should be made concisely, stating the species and origin required and a certificate of source identification should be asked for. To inspire communities, the charity has produced Wild Plants & Your Village Green, a leaflet explaining how to create a wildflower grassland, where to get native seed and how to make the most of funding opportunities. For a copy of the leaflet and a list of native flora suppliers, visit www.floralocale.org.

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