The future bumblebee and wildflower traffic island, looks a little tired and depressed at the moment! As most of them do!
But that need not be the case…..
This roundabout was a typical boring green grassed roundabout. I approached my local council and suggested that instead of a boring green roundabout, why did n’t they create a wildflower and bumblebee friendly traffic island? Obviously there are monetary constraints regarding seeds and labour….so although my initial idea of an inner circle of the taller flowering red clover in the middle, with the lower flowering white clover on the outer perimeter, ( both bumblebee ‘top’ flowers, would look impressive as a bulls eye and I am a Liverpool FC supporter!!) the annual cornfield meadow mixture was sown, along with some red clover. This particular island is extremely busy as it leads to the M62 and at times, there is very heavy, though slow moving traffic. Drivers frustrated by the peak hour queues, may benefit by seeing a lovely calming wildflower ‘meadow’! The first stages began shortly after my suggestion and the middle circular section was ‘ploughed’ over, sprayed to kill the grass, leaving the outer section to grass.
The next stage involved seeding the inner circular area and let nature take her course…….
The weed killer stops the more vigorous fast growing grass from suppressing the wildflower annual corn meadow seeds and inhibiting their germination and growth…….
The corn poppies and blue cornflowers are particularly attractive to bumblebees……
All these photographs of the wildflowers in bloom were taken in the middle June 2011……..
Same shot below with hopefully a more relaxed HGV driver on his way to the M62……!
After the initial flush of the above wild flowers, the glorious corn marigolds and red clover took over in July……
Ask your council to plant wildflowers seeds on your traffic islands and/or roadside verges….saves them mowing several times a year!!!!!
In these days of austerity, doom and gloom, its always nice to show appreciation and if you feel this does look nice a quick email to Kevin McCready, Area Manager Parks and Streets Service,
email@example.com who was instrumental in this project
expressing your views, may go down a long way and perhaps give someone a smile or two and even perhaps extend the scheme to other areas!
For more information and to help save bumblebees join the Bumblebee Conservation Trust at Stirling University