Wild meadows for roadsides proposed to help nature flourish in Portishead

PUBLISHED: 08:00 14 July 2019

Jonathan Mock.

Jonathan Mock.

Archant

Blossoming meadows on verges, more community orchards, and nature workshops are just some ideas put forward as Portishead vies to become a 'pioneering, wildlife-friendly town'.

Wild Portishead, in conjunction with Portishead Town Council, held its inaugural public meeting at a packed Folk Hall in late-June, as people proposed ways of nurturing nature.

The meeting was called after Chris Sperring MBE, a renowned naturalist living in the town, gave a presentation to the town council in March which called for people to 'get closer to nature' and create a 'wildlife area within the urban structure of Portishead'.

Reduced maintenance and mowing of parks, verges and open spaces was a popular proposal, with hopes it would grow insect and animal populations.

Calls for ditches to be dredged, and for more trees to be planted, gained support.

Guided wildlife walks, nature workshops and the planting of community orchards were also among ideas to be backed.

Wild Portishead founding member Jonathan Mock believes Portishead has faced 'enormous pressures due to rapid development' in recent years.

He said: "Our green spaces are under threat and the more we lose them the more we lose our wildlife and the connection we should have, be it the buzz of bees or the song of a blackbird.

"With the recent national and international alarm at the threat to wildlife - and humans as a species as a consequence - it's never been more pressing to act."

In addition to the wider proposals for the town, homeowners were also given tips on how to make a difference in their own gardens.

People were warned of the perils of pesticides, which can get into the food chain, and were encouraged to take a different attitude to wild flowers and weeds.

Wild Portishead hopes the project will receive the support of schools, community groups and businesses.

Mr Mock added: "Small changes can have big positive impacts.

"I'd like Portishead to be seen as a pioneering, wildlife-friendly town."

The proposals raised at the meeting have been collated by town council clerk Andrea Durn, and the authority - in conjunction with Wild Portishead - will work to create an action plan in the coming weeks.

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