Wildflower meadows to brighten the district

Wildflower location at Cecil Road
East Herts Council is working with Hertfordshire County Council’s Countryside Management Service to create wildflower meadows in parks across the district in Autumn 2023.

Several greenspaces were identified as being suitable for habitat improvement through the greenspace opportunities audits undertaken in 2021. Wildflower seeding will be carried out following cultivation of these carefully selected areas, with careful management to enable seeds to germinate and establish. 

This will mean that from 2025 onwards, these areas will be allowed to grow long, and an annual cut and collection of each site will be carried out during late summer each year after flowering.  

Councillor Sarah Hopewell, Executive Member for Wellbeing at East Herts Council, said: “Wildflower meadows are crucial to boosting habitats for wildlife, reducing air pollution, and increasing biodiversity in our open spaces to name just a few of the benefits. I’m so glad that this many additional areas have been identified as ideal for seeding and can’t wait to see the effects and beauty of them once they’ve established. 

“I’m sure that all residents and visitors will appreciate the natural beauty these areas will provide, and they make great locations for a bug hunt with the children.”   

Specific areas within the following parks have been carefully chosen that will not adversely affect visitor access or enjoyment: 

  • Buryfields Open space, Hertford
  • Cecil Road Play Area, Hertford
  • Lady Margaret Gardens, Ware
  • Lower Bourne Gardens, Ware
  • Northolt Avenue Play Area, Bishop’s Stortford
  • Rush Close, Stanstead Abbotts
  • Sacombe Road, Hertford
  • Waytemore Road Play Area, Bishop’s Stortford

The planting will include a variety of seed mixes, including Yarrow, Lesser Knapweed, Wild Carrot, Lady’s Bedstraw, Rough Hawkbit, Oxeye Daisy, Ribwort Plantain, Cowslip, Selfheal, Meadow buttercup, Yellow Rattle, Common Sorrel, Salad Burnet, White Campion and Red Campion.

Signage will inform residents about what is happening in the area, and also act as a polite notice not to trample the ground whilst it is cultivated.

Parks where East Herts Council has successfully created wildflower meadows in the past include Southern Country Park, Hartham Common, Vantorts Close, King George V Playing Field and The Bourne Play Areas as well as play areas across the district.