Thirty one species of flower type have been identified in Grange Park as part of a £1.3 million Urban Pollinator project led by academics at Bristol University.
With the loss of wildflower meadows in the countryside since World War II, the UK Insect Pollinators Initiative coordinated via university teams in Bristol, Reading, Leeds and Edinburgh is more important than ever.
Bees, butterflies, beetles and bugs from hundreds of parks, gardens, allotments, church-yards and cemeteries across the country have all gone under the microscope to determine how populations of pollinating insects are affected by urban environments, and what we can do to improve biodiversity in our towns and cities.
Beginning in 2011 the project experienced some difficulties during the very wet summer of 2012, causing repeat visits to be made to participating locations.
However, the results of the project have already impacted city centres, where an increased number of wildflower meadows are being created in preference to cultivated planting, with flowers such as poppies, cornflowers, meadow buttercups and red campion providing dazzling displays.
Commenting on the benefits of this approach project leader Professor Jane Memmott said: “Sowing meadows like these that contain nectar- and pollen-rich plant species increases the provision of foraging resources for bees and other pollinating insects in urban areas.
“Replacing traditionally planted areas with flower meadows can also have economic benefits as wildflowers are less expensive for councils to replace than cultivated plants.”