65,000 votes were cast and the results are in: a joint bid from Liverpool and Manchester has secured £120,000 of funding from Grow Wild to develop areas of unloved land into sanctuaries bursting with wild flowers.
The winning project, Tale of Two Cities, will be Grow Wild England’s flagship site – a national example of how people and partner organisations can transform urban spaces into beautiful, inspiring and colourful wildlife havens.
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Led by Landlife, a charity based at the National Wildflower Centre at Court Hey Park, Tale of Two Cities will use wild flowers to connect the two historically divided cities.
Derelict and paved areas of Everton Park in Liverpool will be transformed with inspiring wild flower displays, some of which will mark iconic demolished streets. Further Grow Wild areas, including the expansion of an existing meadow of wild flowers, are also planned.
In Manchester, beautiful wild flower landscapes will be created along Princess Road and its linked surroundings; they will be seen and enjoyed by local schools and the 100,000 people that pass by daily.
Tale of Two Cities will also receive £15,000 in 2016 for continued activities with local people, especially focusing on those aged 12 to 25.
Four other shortlisted projects will each receive £5,000 of funding to run a dynamic local project and continue developing their ideas, plus Grow Wild support during 2015 to help secure alternative funding.
Grow Wild is a beautiful £10.5 million mass participation programme designed to bring people and communities together to sow, grow and enjoy native wild flowers.
We have lost 97% of our wild flower meadows since the 1930s, which means we have less colour in our lives, less shelter for wildlife and less food for birds, butterflies and bees. But it’s something we can change.
Supported by the Big Lottery Fund and led by Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Grow Wild’s mission is to inspire people to transform unloved urban spaces, gardens and even windowsills into wildlife-friendly wild flower patches.
The aim is to reach 30 million people, including 4 million young people aged 12 to 25. Flagship sites in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, combined with 280 community projects, will bring tangible benefits to each area and every individual involved.
The Grow Wild Scotland flagship site, Barrhead Water Works, launched in June 2014, and flagship sites in Wales and Northern Ireland will launch in summer 2016 following a public vote in autumn 2015.
Thousands of groups and individuals are also being encouraged to transform unloved spaces into colourful wild flower havens using Grow Wild seed kits and packs.
Grow Wild seed packets contain a colourful mix of UK native-origin wild flower seeds, which have been researched and sourced by experts at the UK Native Seed Hub in partnership with UK based seed suppliers.
Register before 14 February 2015 and get free Grow Wild seed kits for group activities next spring.
Tale of Two Cities will launch in summer 2015. For more information on Grow Wild and to find out how to start your own project – or join one near you – visit growwilduk.com.
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