Sowing of hundreds of thousands of wild flower seeds results in spectacular displays alongside Milton Keynes roads

The colourful wildflowers currently blooming along MK’s grid roads were all planted deliberately to help tackle climate change, it has been revealed.

By Sally Murrer
Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 12:47 pm

Residents are enjoying this displays of poppies, buttercups and daisies along city verges, on roundabouts and at the edges of underpasses.

Many assumed the plants had grown naturally under MK Council’s policy of leaving grass unmown for longer periods.

But this week the council has described how its contractors were given huge volumes of seeds to scatter on grassy areas during peak sowing times.

These poppies look spectacular alongside roads in MK

The result this month is a sea of wild blooms that is already encouraging biodiversity as part of the council’s priority work to tackle climate change.

Cabinet member for the Public Realm, Cllr Lauren Townsend said: “Over 1,000 pollinating species such as bees and beetles are already benefitting from the council’s work to increase wildflower verges and meadows.

"Our ambition is for Milton Keynes Council to be carbon neutral by 2030 and for MK to become one of the world’s leading sustainable cities. With small changes to enhance the space it will act as a catalyst to encourage biodiversity, which is another small step forward in our bigger work to tackle climate change.”

As well as the sowing of wildflowers, sedum plants have been planted on top of a number of bus shelters. These green living roofs also help support biodiversity.

MK Council maintains more than 10 million square metres of grassland throughout the borough. Last year, it was decided to reduce its mowing programme to create more creating new "biodiverse spaces".

However, some motorists complained that the new ‘overgrown and wild’ look was creating visibility problems, particularly on roundabouts, and this could be a risk to drivers.

A council spokesman said: "If you’d like to help increase the biodiversity in Milton Keynes, you should plant a variety of flowers in your garden (ideally ones with different flowering times) including native wildflowers.”

He added: “Don’t be too fast to trim lawns, especially those with dandelions or clover. And you might want to add a bee hotel or even just a small rock pile as a place for creatures to live.”