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Wild about Frome!

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FROME Town Council has launched ‘Wild about Frome’, a new campaign to preserve areas around the town as havens for wildflowers, bees and insects to flourish.

Councillors are also proposing that more wildflowers be introduced along roadside verges in the town – an initiative proven successful in Rotherham, which also saved the council £25,000 in mowing costs.

The new ‘Wild about Frome’ initiative means that certain spots are left to grow, in order to create a variety of different and complementary habitats to support wildlife and plant life. 

The town council report, “You’ll be able to tell where the designated spots are by keeping any eye out for the Wild about Frome signs. If there are any areas local residents would like to see added to the list, please get in touch with the town council. Letting Frome get a bit wild means that there’s lots of interesting wildlife around and about. So if you spot some exciting and rare wildlife, get involved in ‘Spotted Frome’ by sending photos and details, including where and when, to info@frometowncouncil.gov.uk.”

Cllr Sara Butler’s proposal to introduce more wildflowers along verges in the town was inspired by a viral post online from The British Beekeepers Association. The post showed the 8 miles of wildflowers that Rotherham have planted on its verges, which attracted huge support from the public, with many wanting their towns and cities to follow suit. 

The British Beekeepers Association posted that not only has this initiative helped pollinators, but has saved the council £25,000 in mowing costs. 

Cllr Butler told Frome Times, “I saw what Rotherham had been doing, and see that other towns and cities, even in London, have started to do the same.  Frome is currently  doing a great job with leaving some verges and areas unattended to increase the amount of insects and bees, but they are not diverse enough to continue attracting more. 

“It would be a great opportunity to inject some colourful pollinators into the town and help to increase their population, which is struggling at the moment.  I have been in discussion with other councillors and also Chris Stringer, environment manager at Frome Town Council and have been met with a positive response and they are looking to take the idea forward. 

“It is also Frome in Bloom coming up, so there has been a big focus on flowers and I wish all those who have entered a great success, and this would look great alongside the event.

“The town rangers have done an amazing job in areas such as Rodden Meadow, the Dippy and Millenium Meadow, leaving the areas to grow naturally, and planting wildflowers there. 

“The idea for wildflowers is catching on – cutting all the grass every few weeks isn’t actually good for biodiversity. Plus, poppies and wildflowers are so uplifting for people. 

“People are finally waking up to the falling insect rates and bee population and what impact this is having on our environment. I have five hives in my garden, so I am concious of the falling numbers. 

“This is all in part of Frome Town Council issuing their Climate Emergency, and I hope that it helps to combat some of the issues we are facing.”

A spokesperson for the British Beekeepers Association said, “The flower verges chosen in Rotherham are designed to give bees and other pollinators access to food from spring through to autumn. They cover what we call the June gap between spring trees and flowers and the summer plants flowering. As we increasingly see changes to the weather patterns, having a ready source of pollen and nectar on a dry day, when the bees can leave their hives, is vital to prevent starvation and colony collapse.”

To find out more about Wild about Frome go to www.frometowncouncil.gov.uk/wild-about-frome

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