Working with the BLUE campaign is the ideal solution for councils looking to save money and meet their climate and green-space obligations. UK councils are responsible for thousands of acres of land, and can play a huge role in increasing wild spaces across Britain.
A simple but incredibly effective action that all councils can take is to turn roadside verges and public spaces into native wildflower meadow. This requires far less maintenance than traditional mowing schedules; saving the council money, reducing their carbon footprint and significantly increasing local wildlife density and diversity. No wildflower seed mixes are needed, just one annual cut-and-collect followed by little to no maintenance. Native plants will quickly begin to re-establish themselves, bringing with them a wonderful variety of invertebrates, birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals.
To mitigate any complaints regarding perceived neglect of such areas, we recommend erecting blue hearts on a wooden post to alert members of the public to the project. These can be made from recycled materials or bought from our online shop. We use cornflower blue on our official hearts, but any shade will do!
Some councils are really taking the lead on this, including Leicestershire County Council, Stroud Town Council, Chipping Sodbury Town Council, Dorset Council and South Gloucestershire Council.
We're happy to help support you with planning your strategy, as well as supporting any associated public relations campaign.
BLUE campaign collaborates with a number of organisations to ensure that the best advice is available as a resource.
In the good spirit of collaboration with PLANTLIFE we are able to share their excellent advice on how to best manage road verges.
Ask your local councillors to commit to supporting wildlife whilst working towards their climate targets. County councils have responsibility for highways, but district, town and parish councils can all be involved as they will have responsibility for various public spaces in your area.
Find your local councillors:
Re: Blue Campaign on Council owned land
Dear <<insert Councillor name here>>,
I am writing to you as a resident of <<insert locality name here>> to highlight my concern about the lack of wild spaces within our area.
A recent study by the Wildlife Trust suggests that 90% of lowland grassland has been lost in the 20th century, with fewer areas than ever supporting insects, wildlife and grassland species. These areas form an essential part of the UK’s ecological infrastructure.
Luckily, combatting this loss is one which is easy and cost effective for Councils. As a resident I would urge you to allocate areas of land which you manage to wildflower meadow. This would mean an annual cut-and-collect followed by little or no maintenance, reducing your costs and carbon footprint, whilst encouraging wildlife to re-inhabit the area. To mitigate any complaints regarding neglect of such areas, an initiative called the Blue Campaign has begun which encourages people to erect a blue heart on a wooden post to alert members of the public to the project. Many Councils have begun to sign up to the campaign with more doing so each week. More information can be found at https://bluecampaignhub.com/
I would urge you to consider bringing this to the attention of other Councillors and anyone who manages green or open spaces within the Council. It is cost-effective, enhances our environment and shows that the Council is forward looking and committed to its ecological responsibilities.