Rugby's green spaces praised for increasing biodiversity - The Rugby Observer

Rugby's green spaces praised for increasing biodiversity

Rugby Editorial 21st Jan, 2020   0

GREEN spaces in Rugby have won awards for contributing to supporting pollinators and increasing the range of plant species, invertebrates, birds and other wildlife.

Rugby’s Urban Meadows programme, Gladstone Green pocket park, and Centenary Park in Newbold have picked up Bees’ Needs Champion Awards from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The award, which celebrates bee-conservation efforts through active support for pollinating insects, has been made to just 33 winners across the UK in 2019.

The judges were impressed by the rapid increase of biodiversity and bee-friendly wildflowers evident at the Urban Meadows sites, especially at Shakespeare Gardens, as well as the continuing success of the nectar-rich planting at Gladstone Green and Centenary Park.

Rugby Borough Council’s green spaces officer Colin Horton (left) and community volunteer Steve Wright (right) pick up the three Bees’ Needs awards from Lord Gardiner of Kimble.

Rugby Borough Council’s environment and public realm spokesman Coun Howard Roberts said: “It is great to see Rugby once again picking up national awards for the way we manage our open spaces.

“These awards are a tribute to the Rugby Borough Council’s cooperation with volunteers across the borough who support us with surveys, advice and regular maintenance, at these sites and elsewhere.

“Having declared a climate emergency it is important that we take every opportunity we can to support wildlife and maintain our open spaces in a way that will lock in as much carbon as possible.”

Rugby Borough Council’s Urban Meadows programme has reduced mowing at certain areas to allow naturally-occurring wildflowers to bloom, which then creates extra nectar and pollen for bees.

In the case of Shakespeare Gardens, which the council understands to have been a natural meadow before the current housing development was built, the site is believed to be the only place in Warwickshire where one particular plant species is naturally occurring.

Biodiversity increases each year a meadow is allowed to grow naturally, because removing nitrogen-rich grass cuttings gradually reduces soil quality.

Visit for more information on Urban Meadows.

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