By Anna Dutton
Around Cardiff, wildflowers are being planted on top of bus stops to attract more bees and other insects to encourage insect population growth around the city.
Cardiff Council has been working on a project to redesign the layout of the city, and as part of this new scheme, ten bus stops across the capital are being revamped.
A spokesperson for the Council has said that “the Council is re-designing roads in the city centre, to significantly improve the public transport infrastructure, improve opportunities for active travel (cycling and walking), as well as improve the air quality that we all breathe.”
Plants categorised as ‘wildflowers’ fall broadly into two categories: perennial wildflowers and annual wildflowers. Perennial wildflowers are different from annual wildflowers as they grow back each year and include species like the meadow buttercup and red campion. Annual wildflowers are generally more colourful than their perennial cousins but they only flower once and then don’t tend to flower again. These species include the field poppy as well as the corn marigold. These plants are effective for attracting bees and other insects.
The bus stops that are being updated include: Castle Street, Kingsway, Dumfries Place, Station Terrace and Churchill Way, Cycleway 1 on Cathay’s Terrace and Whitchurch Road. New bus stops will be installed on two existing shelters, too: Wood Street, Lower St Mary St. and Park Street. The remaining bus stops will not be changed.
Cardiff is following suit from other cities such as Utrecht in the Netherlands, which has installed wildflowers on more than 300 of their bus stops across the city. In Cardiff, the maintenance of these bus stops will be undertaken by Clear Channel who is working closely with the council on this new project.
The scheme hopes to make Cardiff a greener space and encourage more bees and insects to thrive throughout the city, helping to maintain bee population numbers. However, for those who suffer from hay fever or for those who don’t like insects, the new scheme might be more frustrating than exciting.
Regardless, this scheme highlights how Cardiff continues to strive to be a greener place by making the city a more wildlife-friendly space and bringing some colour to brighten the residents’ bus journeys.