Council to introduce more meadow areas

PR2344/SB/MF - 22/03/2021

Mid Sussex District Council plans to create more meadows areas in local parks and open spaces this summer to encourage native insects, wildlife and grassland species to thrive.

Areas of open space in nearly 30 locations across Mid Sussex will be set aside and left to grow throughout the summer as part of the national Blue Campaign. This builds on a trial across a small number of sites last year and residents will be able to spot the protected areas because they will each be marked with a blue heart symbol.

A recent study by the Wildlife Trust suggests that 90% of lowland grassland has been lost in the 20th Century, areas that form an essential part of the UK’s ecological infrastructure. It is this dramatic decline in biodiversity and biomass that led wildlife film maker Fergus Beeley to create the Blue Campaign, a conservation project, which aims to rewild areas across Great Britain by letting grass grow naturally.

Councillor John Belsey, MSDC Cabinet Member for Environment and Service Delivery said:

“Biodiversity restoration is about so much more than wildflowers, it’s about restoring habitats that support so many different species.

“By letting the grass grow, native wildflowers begin to emerge, and they provide a natural canopy for smaller creatures like short tailed field voles, crickets and grasshoppers. Various types of beetle and caterpillar will start to feed off the native wildflowers and in turn, they will support families of growing blue tits.

“The Blue Heart Campaign is such a positive move towards increasing biodiversity in the UK and I’m delighted that we will be playing our part at Mid Sussex District Council. Over the next couple of weeks, we will begin roping off the identified areas to stop them being cut but the ropes will be removed as soon as the areas become established.

“If you’d like to find out more about rewilding and increasing biodiversity in the UK, just visit www.bluecampaignhub.com or email parksopenspaces@midsussex.gov.uk.”

ENDS