London has no shortage of stunning floral vistas and gorgeous parks. Its a city so green-fingered that it’s absolutely stuffed to the rafters with carefully pruned flowers and centuries-old garden centres. And Transport for London is now boosting the city’s flowery displays hugely with the installation of wildflower plots all around the city.
TfL is installing these new wildflower plots, or verges, in areas such as the Gants Hill roundabout in Redbridge, the Clockhouse roundabout in Feltham, and along the A21 Sevenoaks Road in Bromley. These join the likes of TfL’s already planted flowers at the Redbridge roundabout, the Rowley Lane roundabout on the A1, and stretching along the A40 in Hillingdon. The new wildflower plots bring the amount of acreage covered by TfL’s wildflower planting scheme up to almost 130,000 square metres.
Why is TfL planting wildflowers?
The wildflower plots are a key part of TfL’s goal to increase biodiversity in the city across its estates. An upcoming Green Infrastructure and Biodiversity Plan, in which the wildflower verges feature heavily, will outline TfL’s plan to “encourage biodiversity, mitigate climate change and become more sustainable in its operations”.
It goes a little further, however, than just ‘flowers and plants are good for the environment’. Wildflowers are particularly useful, as naturally growing, native plants, at providing food, nectar, and shelter for wildlife. This stretches beyond the obvious bees, to butterflies, birds, and small mammals too.
Said Lilli Matson, Chief Safety Health and Environment Officer at TfL:
“We are committed to building a network that is resilient to climate change and promotes biodiversity while being safe and reliable for Londoners. The new wildflower verges will encourage biodiversity and make London a more liveable and nature-rich city. We will continue to work with our partners to adapt our network to reduce the short and long-term impacts of climate change.”
According to TfL, with the right investment and partnerships, the Mayor’s and TfL’s plans to make London a net zero-carbon city by 2030 are more than achievable.
Find out more about what else TfL is doing to maintain and manage the city’s green infrastructure here.