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Urban meadows to be sown across Portsmouth

Wild flower seeds are being sown across Portsmouth to create 15 new urban meadows in the city.

This year's Portsmouth in Bloom celebration will see meadow flowers, including poppies, cornflowers and cosmos, introduced to a range of sites in the coming weeks.

The Portsmouth City Council project includes big open spaces such as Canoe Lake and Milton Park, busy main roads like Lake Road, Queen Street and Northern Road in Cosham.

There will also be some tucked away in the heart of local communities including Hempstead Green in Paulsgrove and Southsea's Clarendon Gardens.

The meadows are being sown over the next few weeks and have been made possible thanks to sponsorship from Colas and Portsmouth Water.

A number of schools are also involved with meadows being sown at Cottage Grove Primary, Flying Bull Academy, Highbury Primary, Langstone Infants and Priory.

As well as being a colourful addition to the city, urban meadows have environmental benefits. They will attract more insects such as bees and butterflies which will help with the pollination of other plants in the area, boosting the local ecosystem of the inner-city environment.

In particular it should help butterflies which have declined in urban areas by 69 per cent since 1995 because of a reduction in green space and people paving over gardens.

Cllr Linda Symes, the council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure & Sport, said: "I'm delighted we are creating urban meadows throughout the city and would like to thanks both Portsmouth Water and Colas for supporting this. Not only will this create some lovely areas of flowers, it is also a big boost for our local environment and will help support butterflies and other wildlife. I can't wait to see them in full bloom."

The new meadows will coincide the creation of a new butterfly house and garden at Cumberland House that will open in the summer and will complement the established wildflower meadows and grassland found at Portsdown Hill, Hilsea Lines, Milton Common and other semi-natural open spaces within the city.

The urban meadows link with wider aims to use flowers and plants to improve the city's appearance. New timber planters, donated by the organisers of the city's Oktoberfest event, have recently been installed in Guildhall Square with more set to follow.

Two planters previously located in Commercial Road will soon be based outside the Central Library in Guildhall Square with another three set to move to The Hard.

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