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New wildflower meadows to brighten up South Ribble this summer

Wildflowers in Leyland

South Ribble Borough Council is pressing ahead with plans to plant wildflower meadows across the borough in a bid to boost biodiversity.

Seeds will be sown in more than 30 different locations across South Ribble - including 14 new areas.

Locations range from new meadows and existing green spaces to some of our busiest roadsides. You can find a full list of locations here.

As well as brightening up the borough, the wildflowers will provide a habitat for animals and pollinating insects such as butterflies, ladybirds and bees.

Planting has been carried out for a number of years, however an expansion to the programme scheduled for last spring had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Councillor Mick Titherington, South Ribble Borough Council's Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: "On top of being critical to our environment, wildflowers also provide much-needed splashes of colour to our borough - making our local communities more attractive places to live.

"I know this is something that my predecessor as Cabinet Member for environmental issues, Cllr Sue Jones, was very passionate about and I am delighted that, after an unavoidable delay, we are able to press ahead with our plans this year.

"The seeds will be sown some time after Easter, meaning the wildflowers should be in full bloom over the summer when we all hope to be able to get out more as COVID-19 restrictions are gradually relaxed.

"Our environment is at the forefront of the Council's agenda. In July 2019, this Council declared a climate emergency and set a goal for the borough to be carbon neutral by 2030. We have also pledged to plant more than 110,000 new trees - one for each resident.

"Despite all the challenges presented by COVID-19, we remain absolutely committed to those goals and are very much on track to deliver on them."

The expansion of the Council's wildflower planting programme was spearheaded by Cllr Sue Jones during her time as Cabinet Member for Environment.

Cllr Jones, who stepped down from the post in January this year, said: "I am delighted that the Council is finally able to press ahead with its planned expansion of the wildflower planting programme - a cause that has been close to my heart.

"Wildflowers are absolutely vital for our ecosystem; providing pollinators such as bees and butterflies and other insects with food, shelter and places to breed. They also play an important role in winter as a source of food for birds and small mammals.

"As a Council we are committed to the health and wellbeing of our residents, and to improving the local environment.

"I look forward to seeing the wildflowers bloom across the borough over the course of spring and summer."

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