Wildflowers are great for biodiversity, especially pollinators like bees, butterflies, hoverflies and other insects. They can also look good and support our wellbeing, giving us that calming feeling often associated with getting outside and enjoying nature.
A growing number of pieces of land locally are being used to grow wildflowers, or to allow grass to grow a little taller, to reap these benefits – from private back gardens to roadside verges, and areas of our public green spaces.
Those contributing to this collective effort include our environmental partner Serco, Woking Environment Action and Natural Goldsworth Park volunteers, Thames Water, as well as many interested individuals.
As the seasons change, look out for beautiful bulbs, wildflowers and flowering lawns in and around the borough. Locations include Lockfield Drive, a number of roundabouts and other highway verges, Millmoor and St Johns Lye Commons in Woking, by the A245 in Byfleet and the Sewage Treatment Works in Old Woking.
These locations, and the way we manage them, are carefully chosen to help nature as much as we can whilst ensuring we maintain an attractive, cared for appearance throughout Woking borough.
Considerations include highway safety (such as keeping good visibility at road junctions), safe access and practicality for future maintenance, as well as choosing the right type of planting for the site’s conditions and the changing climate.
We also prioritise locations that offer the greatest opportunities for wildflowers, so favour larger over smaller sites, as well as those situated in more prominent positions where as many people as possible can enjoy their beauty. A variety of management approaches are being used, from sowing annual seeds to perennial plants that come back every year. Some grass areas continue to be mown regularly, whilst others will have fewer cuts so they can grow longer and allow wildflowers to bloom. We manage some other green spaces as meadows, cut only once each year, in late summer.
Each year we monitor how well the wildflowers grow, so we can evolve our approach for more and better results in the future.
For more information, or if you would like to suggest a location for wildflowers or longer grass, email our green infrastructure team.