Rotherham’s ‘River of Flowers’

Published Thursday, 20th June 2019
River of Flowers
A photograph from Rotherham Council's 'River of Flowers' from a past year.

Rotherham Council has again planted the seeds of the 'River of Flowers' - wildflowers that grow along eight miles of roads between the town centre, Catcliffe and Bramley.

Pictures from previous years have attracted widespread attention on social media over the last week.

Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Cleaner, Greener Communities, Councillor Sarah Allen, said: “Rotherham has been planting wild flowers along eight miles of highways for the last six years. As well as producing a delightful display of colour through the summer months, this provides a habitat for many insects including bees, and we were really pleased to see this recognised by the British Bee Keeping Association and so many others on social media over the last few days.

“As well as being good news for the environment, the scheme has helped to save the council approximately £23,000 for each two-year cycle.

“Seeding every two years at the start of the season and cutting each year at the end is much less labour-intensive than the traditional approach of cutting the grass several times over the course of the year.

“The plants are currently growing and we are looking forward to a bright display of flowers again later this summer.”

The planting and sowing was carried out by Pictorial Meadows which also did much of the planting at the Olympic Village in London for the 2012 Games. The seeds have been cultivated with locally-grown and blended meadow seed from the restored farm at Sheffield Manor Lodge.

Species include the Red Orache, Fairy Toadflax, various poppies including the Californian Poppy, cornflowers, and corn marigolds. The naturalised bulb planted areas include alliums.

They are a mix of annuals, which have a long flowering season alongside early flowers which provide colour throughout the summer months.

The reservations are not mown until late autumn giving the seeds time to have dispersed for next season.

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