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Green Infrastructure for Growth planting

Green Infrastructure for Growth

CEC has been working with Cormac as a key partner for Cornwall Council’s Green Infrastructure for Growth (GI4G) programme and the success of the project is now showing. The £3.5 million scheme is designed to bring nature into seven Cornish towns by improving existing public spaces in a way that benefits both people and wildlife. The goal is to create nature-rich habitat across an area equivalent to 35 rugby pitches. Cornwall Council embarked on the ambitious scheme as part of its Environmental Growth strategy, which aims to invest and grow the environment as well as protecting it.

Green deserts

As green infrastructure experts, CEC specified the planting designs and management requirements for 28 separate sites in the designated towns, including ones in Redruth, Hayle and Penzance. Previously these areas featured lots of mown grass, with very little seasonal change in planting and hardly any interest or value for wildlife. Essentially they had become ‘green deserts’.

Bay View Terrace, Hayle – a housing development with green space but with no planting

Bay View Terrace - after plantingBay View Terrace, Hayle – a broad range of flowers now attracts insects and pollinators

Community hubs with wildlife

CEC worked with a variety of soil and micro-climate conditions to breathe new life into these spaces. Specially designed mixes of native wildflowers, shrubs and trees were planted to provide food and shelter for wildlife, especially in the winter months. The team also installed bird and bat boxes for a range of different species.

The project aims to improve these urban spaces so that they become community hubs, to be celebrated and enjoyed by local people. The transformation is already well underway: during the first summer wildflowers blossomed, trees took root and wildlife moved in. The success of the scheme has been welcomed by residents and is being used as an example of how green infrastructure can bring people closer to nature.

For more details on the sites benefiting from the scheme, please visit Cornwall Council’s website – www.cornwall.gov.uk/environment-and-planning/parks-and-open-spaces/green-infrastructure-for-growth

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