Taking Root is playing a key role in the creation of a new network of wildflower meadows in south Sefton and North Liverpool which is being supported by a prestigious local grant scheme.
Partners in the ‘Head North for Beauty, Pollinators and Carbon Capture Project’ have landed a grant from the Liverpool City Region Community Environment Fund to develop the mosaic of meadows on ten sites across the two areas.
The partners in the initiative alongside the Taking Root in Bootle network of community gardeners are Scouse Flowerhouse and the National Wildflower Centre at the Eden Project, working with Riverside Housing Group, Torus and the Sovini Group.
The Community Environment Fund was established last year by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram to improve the environment of the Liverpool City Region and promote community involvement in ‘green’ projects.
Partners in ‘Head North’ say the new wildflower meadows will help to improve public spaces in these urban neighbourhoods, and give residents without gardens the opportunity to experience nature close to home.
They also point out that the funding decision has come at a time when people are valuing their local open spaces and walks more than ever because of the pandemic, so the project also has the potential to have a significant positive impact on the physical and mental health of residents.
In addition, ‘Head North’ will improve the quality and sustainability of the land managed by the housing associations involved.
The project will also help to build skills in the area by bringing on board Wildflower Rangers who will spend six months learning how to manage the meadows, organise community seed sowings and seed harvesting, and in doing so acquire useful engagement and leadership skills.
Commenting on the new project Ruth Livesey of Bootle-based social enterprise Regenerus, who co-ordinates Taking Root, said: “Around 97 per cent of UK wildflower meadows have been lost since 1947, so we’re delighted to be reversing that trend here in south Sefton and North Liverpool.
“There is more and more awareness of the importance of open spaces for health and wellbeing, and at the same time wildflowers are being increasingly appreciated as a key contributor to improving our links with nature and recognising its benefits.
“These benefits include reversing biodiversity loss, increasing local habitats for pollinators, capturing carbon to improve air quality and encouraging engagement with the challenges we face in connection with climate change,” added Ruth.
“We’re very grateful to the Community Environment Fund for making ‘Head North’ possible, and delighted to be working on a ‘cross border’ project that will benefit residents in both south Sefton and North Liverpool.”
Work will get underway shortly on the meadows which should be in bloom for the first time later in the summer when a wildflower trail map will be available to guide people around all ten sites.