Exeter is looking bloomin' marvellous!

Exeter is looking bloomin’ marvellous thanks to a scheme to introduce wild flowers into everyday parts of the city.

The Wild City project has seen Exeter City Council team up with Devon Wildlife Trust to encourage more nature into the city.

This summer the scheme has paid dividends with roundabouts, parks and road verges breaking out in a riot of colour as the blooms of wild flowers enjoy the summer sunshine.

The City Council has been inundated with letters and emails of praise from local residents and visitors enjoying the summer blooms. In Prince Charles Road, cars have been pulling up to admire the blooms and take pictures of the flowers.

Cllr Stephen Brimble, Lead Councillor for Place, said the Council had been carrying out the planting initiative for a number of years now.

“We’ve had a great response from people – thankful for bringing natural beauty into the city centre. The resulting blooms have been amazing, so colourful and great for wildlife in general,” he said.

As part of the initiative, verges and corners are allowed to become seed banks for native species of wild flowers to grow and to provide floral gateways into the city. The resulting blooms become a magnet for butterflies and bees and other insects.

Emily Stallworthy, who leads on the Exeter Wild City project for Devon Wildlife Trust, said: “Exeter Wild City meadows began with just one meadow sown with St David’s Primary School back in 2012 and has since grown to more than 60 meadows across the city.

“These stunning displays have had such a positive impact on people who live and work in the city. They have also turned our streets and parks into havens for bees and butterflies, providing much needed food for our struggling insects. It’s a win-win for people and wildlife.

“We hope that the meadows will inspire everyone to do something small for wildlife, whether it’s plant some flowers for bees or put a bowl of water out for hedgehogs, we can all help to make Exeter our Wild City!”

The flowers are allowed to flourish between April and August and then the grass cutting carried out either sides of the wildflower growing window.

Suitable areas are identified and prepared out of season and then scarified and planted well before April. Once late-flowering seed has matured in the autumn the areas will be cut.