Roundabouts in bloom after meadow transformation

Meadow pageRoundabouts across the UK have been transformed following a wildflower meadow makeover led by Professor Nigel Dunnett from the Department of Landscape.

The £130,000 project, in partnership with Enterprise Rent-A-Car and urban meadow specialists Pictorial Meadows, revamped roundabouts in busy areas of Sheffield, Glasgow, Leeds, Birmingham, Swindon, Liverpool and Woking.

The seven sites were handpicked by local authorities for their proximity to major arterial roads to maximise their impact on local communities. The Department of Landscape’s MA Student Joanna Yan produced visualisations for the project.

Throughout the autumn and winter of 2015, teams planted two acres of a specially selected range of bulbs, flowers and shrubs to fit each environment. As well as being easy on the eye to passing motorists, the meadows have been designed to boost biodiversity and wildlife such as bees and butterflies.

Professor Nigel Dunnett also helped develop seeds which will lower maintenance costs for local authorities and reduce traffic disruption caused by gardening equipment used on normal roundabouts.

Professor Dunnett, speaking to the Daily Telegraph, said: “This project was very exciting because it offered a chance to demonstrate the impact that these perennial designs can have on communities for the long-term. Over the years we have worked with many local authorities on wildflower projects that have created visually stunning displays quickly, but only for a year or two.

“The planting on these roundabouts will have longevity. They will flower year after year with quite minimal attention, because Enterprise and the local authorities involved were willing to engage in this project for the long-term.”

Dan Cornwell, Operations Director at Pictorial Meadows, said: “This project is very important because it allows us to showcase how this new approach to the development of perennial meadows can make a real difference. It can transform how councils plan the greening of local communities while reducing maintenance costs.”