Wild flower transformation continues in Worcester

Ambitious plans to transform Diglis Playing Fields and the Cherry Orchard Nature Reserve are entering a second phase, with the creation of wildflower meadows, natural play areas, new footpaths and seating areas all underway.

A newly equipped playground was installed at Diglis Fields in July 2015, and contractors are now once again on site to complete the second phase of works.  

Claire Edwards, Secretary of the Friends of Diglis Fields, said:  ”Local residents are delighted with the new playground and we are looking forward to seeing the next phase of improvements taking shape”.

Gates will also be installed at all the entrances to make the area safer for children, and a new car park with space for up to 16 cars will be added. 

This current phase of works is due to be completed by November 2016.  Areas where the work is taking place will be cordoned off, but the play area, Fields and Nature Reserve are still accessible.

Over the winter, several new trees will be planted at Diglis Fields.  The final phase of the work will see a number of improvements to the riverside area, including improved lighting, in the future.

The plans are being funded through a £665,000 contribution from private developers, as part of Section 106 agreements.

As well as this wild flowers are soon to appear in the car parks of Worcester. Council staff have sown seeds at Croft Road car park to ensure unused patches of the site turn into a colourful wild flower meadow for the summer months.

It’s the fourth year that the City Council’s Cleaner and Greener City grounds maintenance team have worked to create vivid splashes of natural colour at the car park in a move which has proved very popular with residents and visitors.

Plans are now being drawn up to create similar wild flower meadows at other sites in the city centre.

The initiative started in 2013 when Croft Road car park was reshaped to make way for extra parking and new pedestrian footpaths, leaving patches of earth unoccupied. Instead of simply grassing over these areas, the Cleaner and Greener team decided to experiment by planting them out with wild flowers.

The trial was a great success and feedback from local residents, staff and visitors has been overwhelmingly positive. One local resident said she was “moved to tears” and congratulated the council on “having the imagination to transform patches of ‘waste’ ground into such beauty”.

As well as providing a charming welcome to Worcester for visitors parking in town for the day, the wildflower meadow will also provide extra habitat for bees and butterflies.

David Sutton, City Council Service Manager for a Cleaner and Greener City, said: “Bringing nature into the city creates important havens for wildlife, boosting our work to ensure Worcester is clean, green and safe.

“We would love it if someone’s first expression of Worcester as they park in town for the day is to be greeted by this beautiful, buzzing environment.”

The grounds maintenance team have sowed an eye-catching flurry of cornflowers, poppies and mallows that will bloom in the summer. Wild flowers are have also been planted along parks of the riverside path to make the area even more attractive.

Residents and visitors already benefit from the City Council’s car parks boasting high safety standards which have been recognised by the national Park Mark commendation.