Cutting maintenance is underway across Denbighshire County Council’s wildflower meadows this month.

Second seasonal cuts will take place from August onwards.

The Wildflower Meadows Project started in 2019 and has seen over 10,000 individual plants recorded across all sites involved so far.

This year the project reached 129 meadows that are supporting biodiversity improvement across the county which include highway verges, footpath edges, cycleways and amenity grasslands.

Combined with county roadside nature reserves, there is just over 70 acres of meadows helping and protecting local nature.

The wildflower meadows vary from site to site and usually contain a variety of native grasses and wildflowers. Wildflowers at our sites are mostly native perennial species which support the greatest amount of wildlife, and not the pictorial non-native annual species used elsewhere.

During this season the Council’s Biodiversity Team has recorded pyramidal orchids appearing for the first time at Beach Road East and West, Prestatyn, primrose was recorded on two sites this year, both in Rhuddlan and procumbent yellow-sorrel was recorded in Rhyl, a first for the project.

With the flowering season finishing, staff will visit the sites across the county with specialist mowing equipment to carry out the second cut, the first is carried out on the meadows during February and March each year.

Our native wildflowers thrive on poor-quality soils, so all the cuttings are taken off the meadows to reduce the nutrients in the ground enabling the native wildflowers to grow stronger for the next season.

Cllr Barry Mellor, Lead Member for Environment and Transport, said: “We start the second cut for the project during late summer to give the flowers a chance to seed and continue improving the biodiversity on the sites. Allowing them to seed also gives our Biodiversity Team the chance to collect seeds for producing plants at our tree nursery to be put back into the meadows.

“I would like to thank those who have supported the project this year which is providing a vital boost for our local pollinators and other wildlife. Especially the 233 attendees to events during our wildflower week, 158 of those were members of the public who attended events, talks, and open days to learn about the project.

“This work is important in bringing this habitat back to not only support nature but our wellbeing as well after losing nearly 97 percent of meadows in the last 100 years and I hope it continues to make a positive difference to our local biodiversity.”