One of the largest problems facing pollinators like bees and other insects is the overabundance of pesticide use and the damage done by a fixation on super-manicured lawns. One town in the South Yorkshire region called Rotherham has come up with a beautiful and innovative way to help fix the damage. In 2013, the Rotherham Council commissioned Pictorial Meadows Ltd to install an eight mile long patch of flowers on the central reservations of the town’s main ring road using their wildflower seed mixes.
For the last six years, the town has been planting wild flowers along an eight mile strip of highway. When the flowers bloom in summer they become a stunning display of colors and they provide an urban environment for bees and other pollinators to use.
For those fiscal conservatives, there's another bonus: the council saves £23,000 every two years from maintenance costs. Now in its 6th season, the "River of Flowers" has been a huge success for the community.
This meadow-type habitat of native wildflowers and bulbs with the addition of selected non-native flower species provides nectar, flowers and seeds and food sources for many insects, birds and even some mammals.
In addition to their work in Rotherham, Pictorial Meadows delivered much of the planting at the Olympic Village in London for the 2012 Games.
The Council received over 250 emails and letters of praise in the year following the first germination in July 2013 and continues to receive praise from local residents and from visitors from all over the Country.