Wild flowers to grace Gloucester for 100th anniversary of Great War
DREARY parts of Gloucester are set to be brightened up by wildflower planting.
City councillors want to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War in 2014 by bringing in some floral colour.
The idea was mooted at the full council meeting on Thursday night to help spruce up some parts of the city, at the same time as paying tribute to the fallen.
Gloucestershire County Council planted wildflower meadows on grassed parts of Corinium Avenue and Eastern Avenue among others earlier this year – an idea that has been well received and helped to increase biodiversity.
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The notion of taking it further by the city council was raised by Tuffley ward councillor Gerald Dee. He said: "If we specifically had red poppies in some patches around the city it would really show that we remember all those who served in the war.
"We could have some around the war memorial in the park or some at the St Barnabas Church in the corner of Stroud Road, including in the green areas near to Gloucester Cathedral.
"They don't last terribly long, so once they have flowers and they start to die then the council can mow them back and the green space can be used again."
This year Mr Dee went out with officers to look at places where they could be planted.
He added: "We want that to continue but I really want to see poppies in certain patches for next year.
"Following this year's wildflowers I have had a lot of positive comments from people who really liked them."
Emily Beacon works at Gloucester Florists in Calton Road, Linden, and backed the plan, which will see residents asked which parts of the city they would like to see planted with wild flowers.
She said: "I think this would definitely be important for Gloucester to remember the First World War.
"At the moment we have a nice variety of wildflower meadows at the sides of the road and on roundabouts.
"These flowers do not need to be maintained like some plants at the beginning, but when they grow a bit they need attending to make sure weed does not grown around them."
Mr Dee added: "They provide natural homes for butterflies, bees and grasshoppers.
"Therefore not only do they have benefits but also that they look nice."
Gloucester is a designated Bee City and it is hoped any planting next year would help bolster those credentials.
At the meeting on Thursday Coun Sajid Patel, cabinet member for the environment, confirmed he would look into the idea and welcomed suggestions of where they could be planted.