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You are here: Home Page > Council and Democracy > Council News > Archived News > April 2013 > Trial for Olympic meadows

Council to trial Olympic meadows

Bedford Borough Council has joined forces with the experts behind the Olympic Park landscapes to test a range of meadow grassland plots across a number of its parks and open spaces.  

 

98% of the UK’s wildflower meadows have been destroyed since the 1930’s and by taking part in this national research project, the Council will find out how its urban parks and open spaces can help to compensate for this enormous loss. 

 

Olympic meadows

 

The project team will be setting out test plots at 6 sites across Bedford and cultivating different mixes of perennial grasses and wildflowers.  They will be cut at different frequencies from fortnightly to annually and monitored by experts from Cranfield and Sheffield Universities to find out how these changes to urban green space can affect local people and wildlife. 

 

Although the plants in these plots will take a year before they show their full display of flowers it is hoped that they will provide a fascinating glimpse of a colourful and valuable habitat that has largely been lost.  The results of the experiments will also help the Council in the future management of its hundreds of acres of short mown grass. 

 

Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, said: “Bedford Borough has a range of beautiful open spaces and parks, including 4 parks with Green Flag status, meaning they are among the best in the country.

 

“However, we are not resting on our laurels and are committed to improving our parks and open spaces for all residents. By taking part in this trial we will be creating beautiful new wildflower meadows in urban parts of the borough as well as being at the forefront of learning new techniques which we hope will be used across the country in the future.”

 

The 6 test plots are as follows:

 

- Abbeyfields open space
- Jubilee park
- Goldington Green
- Robin Hill
- Open space at top of Brickhill Drive
- Chiltern Avenue open space
 

Meadows will also be planted on Waveney Green and Mallard Hill however these are not part of the trial.

 

The picture above is taken from a landscape at the Olympic Park during the 2012 London Olympic Games. Credit: Phil Merryman

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