Sudbury is aiming to create wildflower displays like this one outside the Olympic park in London

Poll: Wildflower plans branded “scruffy and unkept” by Sudbury in Bloom

Thursday, February 28, 2013
4.51 PM

CONSERVATIONISTS who are keen to replace cultivated blooms with wildflowers in parts of Sudbury have had their plans knocked back.

When the idea was first put forward last March after town councillors received letters from people asking for alternative floral displays that would encourage bees, butterflies and other wildlife, it was rejected by organisers of Sudbury in Bloom - despite the fact they were used in the Olympic Park.

The group provides colourful cultivated beds for the national and regional competition, and wants to keep the pristine image of the town. Members also feared people would see wildflower areas as “scruffy and unkempt”.

And now Suffolk Wildlife Trust has told the town council that the locations they have suggested for trial wildflower areas are not suitable.

The town’s leisure and environment committee wanted to use roadside areas and disused land strips for the trial and three possible locations were identified, including a piece of land near the Mill Hotel, a bank along Springlands Way and the town’s green cemetery.

At a committee meeting on Tuesday, deputy town clerk Jacqui Howells said: “The trust’s community adviser Tracey Housley visited the sites with us and she thought the areas near the Mill and Springlands bank were not suitable for wildflowers and would be more suited to spring flowers such as daffodils, crocuses, primroses, and low-maintenance shrubs which flower in the summer and have berries in the autumn.

“We have to be guided by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust which has assured us that it is not as easy to grow and maintain wildflowers as we initially thought.”

She added: “The adviser suggested a small area of the green cemetery would be the best place to trial a wildflower meadow. But it would need to be cut regularly and encouraged to flower, so it would be a long-term process.”

But committee member Russell Smith said putting the wildflowers in the green cemetery would “defeat the object”, adding: “While I appreciate the cemetery needs some attention, the main reason for doing this was to put the wildflowers in public places to show people how to fill flower beds and banks in a different way to simply using bedding plants.”

The town council’s ground maintenance contractor Gary Flowers has agreed to help with spring bulb planting and the work in the cemetery.