Wildflower Turf donates Olympics mix to meadows initiative

Wildlife will become "one of the unexpected legacy beneficiaries" of the Olympics says Wildflower Turf, which supplied turf for the opening ceremony and other areas.

The Hampshire-based company has teamed up with conservation charity the Meadows Nectar Networks Initiative to plant wildflowers and grasses featured at the Olympics at specially selected UK locations.

The initiative aims to promote regional biodiversity, said Wildflower Turf managing director James Hewetson-Brown. The first site to benefit from the planting will be at Battle near Hastings, followed by Weald and Downland Museum near Chichester.

"We developed a unique blend of turf for the Olympics, which featured at the opening ceremony and across a range of sites including the equestrian centre and the athletes’ village," he said. "We are donating the same mix to permanent sites.

"We grew more than we needed for the Olympics, so this is an ideal way to extend the turf’s benefits to the wider community and provide a lasting legacy. In the last 70 years 97 per cent of the UK’s grasslands and wildflower meadows have been destroyed."

The Meadows Nectar Network Initiative works to preserve and restore threatened sites and to raise awareness of the importance of grasslands. Over 17 years an area the size of Bedfordshire has vanished, said head Keith Datchler.

"With the help of Wildflower Turf we can showcase the part wildflowers, herbs and grasses have played, and hopefully will continue to play, in encouraging biodiversity across the UK. Grasslands play a vital role in helping us maintain a healthy ecosystem."

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