Arleston Meadow (2)

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“Wild about Meadows” in Arleston Park

26th June 2020

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council has gone “wild about meadows” in many places across the District including Arleston Park, Omagh, as part of the latest Council initiative to promote and improve the biodiversity of the district.

Speaking about the “wild about meadows” initiative, the Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Chris Smyth, talked about the benefits of the programme.

“By letting the grass and wildflowers flourish into the summer months, the Council is improving the biodiversity of the district through simply changing its cutting regime in key areas across the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council estate.  The wildflowers and range of grasses can flower and go to seed, providing valuable food and habitat for many species. This initiative follows on from two very successful projects which resulted in over 4000 packets of seeds being distributed across the district, to encourage households to plant small wild areas in their gardens from which pollinators could benefit,” he said.

So far, self-heal, speedwell, ox-eye daisies and even orchids have been spotted in Arleston Park. Earlier this spring orange tip butterflies danced aplenty as they flitted around the cuckoo flower. Visit meadows this month and you could see birds, such as the bullfinch, feeding on the grass seeds, or swallows as they swoop across the meadow picking up insects as they go! Not forgetting, of course, the bees and pollinators who are so critical to the biodiversity of the area. They too, have benefited from the dandelions in early spring when there was little else available.

Keep an eye out too for our ‘Don’t Cut Yet’ signs on roadside verges across the district, where the Council is continuing to work in partnership with Transport NI to allow wildflower corridors to thrive. This is the legacy of the hugely successful ‘Save Our Magnificent Meadows’ which was led, in Northern Ireland, by Ulster Wildlife a few years ago. It was the catalyst for a change in emphasis on how the Council manages spaces for pollinators.

For more information on Fermanagh and Omagh District Council’s meadow management or if you know of a great patch of native wildflowers on public land, email us at biodiversity@fermanaghomagh.com.