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‘River of wildflowers’ will turn A391 into a colourful gateway to St Austell

The ‘Making Space for Nature’ programme is now underway in St Austell, part of a three year venture to transform Cornwall’s green deserts into wildlife-friendly spaces. The first project is set to transform the A391 into a stunning town gateway, with a ‘river of wildflowers’ perfect for pollinators along the road verges.

4000 square metres of wildflower turf was laid in March this year and just two months later is already blooming, with a host of native pollinator-friendly flowers. The project is due to be extended in September this year, with additional native wildflower-seeded areas, to create a 2.5km wildlife corridor between Tregrehan Mills Roundabout up to Treverbyn Roundabout. A footpath/ cycleway runs alongside much of the verge, allowing up-close contact with nature and enjoyment of the visual display.

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The meadows include  annual and perennial species . Each will evolve over the years to provide a very welcome splash of colour and abundant nectar and pollen for bees and butterflies. The meadows will also provide cover and food for birds, small mammals and amphibians. Uncut meadow patches will be left as refuge areas for creatures to shelter in over winter months. Wildflowers may also help improve local air quality by capturing small particulates emitted from traffic fumes.

The meadow verges will be managed with an annual autumn cut, to reduce fertility and ensure continued diversity of flower species. Cuttings will be collected and removed, leaving a healthy sward ready to grow again each springtime.

This display is bound to be enjoyed by local residents and visitors to the town over the years to come. This is part of a wider set of projects across St Austell, involving both ERDF funded ‘Making Space for Nature’ and Coastal Communities funded ‘St Austell Fresh Green Futures’. 

Partners

This project has brought together many partners with a shared goal to bring more colour, enjoyment and access to nature to St Austell.

The Making Space for Nature team and University of Exeter, Cormac, Cornwall Council highways, SABEF, St Austell Town Council, Darren Hawkes Landscapes, MeiLoci Ltd, Pictorial Meadows and National Wildflower Centre/ Eden Project have all collaborated to bring this transformation about

Making Space for Nature in Cornish towns is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. With support from the University of Exeter and match funding from Cornwall Council, the project will invest £2.9m in seven towns covering an area approximately the size of 28 rugby pitches by 2022.

For more information about all the projects, check out Making Space for Nature.