Innovative biodiversity project enters second year

Your District Council's innovative biodiversity project has entered its second year as the nation embraces #NoMowMay.

Last year, working with parish councils and community groups, the District Council identified 15 pilot sites where verges and public open spaces were cut at the end of February or early March, then scarified to create bare patches to give seeds already in the soil the space and light to germinate. Community groups also sowed seeds themselves.

The verges were then left uncut until the end of August - and during the summer more than 55 different flowering plants were identified, ranging from common dandelions and buttercups to four species of orchid.

In its second year, as well as continuing to nurture the 15 year one sites - to which four new locations have been added - the project is working on increasing biodiversity on larger areas of land owned and maintained by the District Council, including parks and open spaces.

The grassland area around the top car park at the District Council's Arc Leisure Centre Matlock is also part of the national #NoMowMay campaign, allowing earlier flowering plants to bloom at a time when bees are emerging. It will be cut in June for when the public use the area to picnic and play.

A District Council spokesperson said:
"We are delighted with the progress of our biodiversity project, which recognises the need to redress the dramatic loss of wildflower meadows and continued loss of plant species from roadside verges and insect populations due to changes in management. The results to date have been incredibly positive."
Year two project sites are Bakewell Recreation Ground, Northwood Recreation Ground, Morledge/Old Hackney Lane on the boundary of Matlock and Darley Dale, Matlock's Hall Leys Park and Hurst Farm Spider Park, St Giles Church at Starkholmes, Steeple Arch Cemetery at the top of Wirksworth and three sites in Ashbourne at the Cemetery, St Oswald’s Churchyard and Fish Pond Meadow.

The year one projects that continue are in Hathersage's Jaggers Lane and Sheffield Road, Bradwell's Church Lane and The Dale, Wardlow, Hartington's Parson Field car park and the churchyard, Beeley's Brookside, Matlock's Morledge, Station car park and Arc Leisure, land next to the Steeple Arch Cemetery, Wirksworth's Oathill and Summer Lane/Derby Road and Doveridge's Park Crescent.

New additions to the year one list include sites at Taddington, Hackney, Matlock Dale's Artist's Corner and Doveridge.
Your District Council

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