County set to create series of managed grassland meadows

Kevin Wharf with the wild seed.
Kevin Wharf with the wild seed.

TOWNS in south east Northumberland are set to have wildflower meadows thanks to seeds harvested in the countryside.

Twelve sites in the county have already been developed as part of the Growing Wild project at Choppington, Bedlington Station, Hartford Bridge, Pegswood, Bedlington, Morpeth, Ashington, Blyth and Cramlington.

They can be identified by a small sign displaying a flower and bee logo.

Farmer Kevin Wharf has been developing wildflower meadows at his Windyside Farm near Thropton for more than 15 years.

The project has been created to encourage areas of grassland to grow into managed wildflower meadows.

Coun Alan Thompson, executive member for highways and neighbourhood services at Northumberland County Council, said: “The council is responsible for maintaining a vast network of grassland sites, including parks, nature reserves and roadside verges.

“Grassland that is allowed to flourish can transform into a sea of wildflowers becoming a haven for bees and butterflies.”

“The seed from Kevin Wharf’s farm in Thropton is ideal because we know that it is able to cope with the weather conditions that the county of Northumberland experiences.”

In 2013 the council and the Wildlife Trust hope to develop a further ten sites with locations currently being considered in Amble, Berwick upon Tweed, Blyth, Cramlington, Hexham, Morpeth and Seaton Sluice.