‘Green’ council accused of mowing down community’s flower meadow | UK | News

Locals are “livid” after a wildflower meadow planted by volunteers was allegedly mowed down and destroyed by a city council – which is dominated by Green Party councillors.

Residents have expressed “horror'” over the destruction of the meadow between Knowle West and Bedminster in Bristol – especially as it was only recently planted and was entering its “prime”.

While no political party has total control of Bristol City Council, the Greens are the largest single party by far – with some 34 of the council’s 70 councillors being Green Party members.

The council also has 20 Labour councillors, eight Liberal Democrats and seven Conservatives.

However, Green Party campaigners are up in arms over the destruction. Danica Priest tweeted a photo of the wildflowers in bloom just a few days ago.

Writing on Facebook, Priest said: “I’m so angry and heartbroken that the wildflowers we planted with GoodGym and The Northern Slopes have been destroyed. This never should have happened and shows that officers and councillors need education on wildlife conservation.

“They need to listen to community groups and volunteers who manage these spaces. How can we expect the community to take pride in their green spaces when all of our hard work is destroyed without a single conversation? This should never ever happen again!”

Priest explained how volunteers had done a small trial patch with seeds, which were donated to the Northern Slopes Initiative “to see if anything would grow”. She said: “We had no idea if any of the seeds would survive so when I saw that they all bloomed and were beautiful I was filled with so much hope.”

However, that hope has now been “cruelly” crushed by the council. Priest said: “Seeing those flowers get destroyed just days after I posted about them felt unnecessarily cruel.

“Volunteers work so hard to improve our green spaces in South Bristol. Many of us have had to fight to keep these spaces alive because our parks and wildlife habitats are constantly under threat from development.

“It sends a terrible message to anyone who gets involved in helping improve their communities when their hard work is rewarded with callous destruction. The council needs to stop tearing down community growing projects once and for all.”

She also tweeted: ”I’m so angry! The council has just mowed all of this down! Us volunteers worked so hard to plant these wildflowers and manage the grassland on this land with the help of horse grazing.”

On Saturday afternoon, Michelle Grace published a photo of the destruction on The Northern Slopes Facebook group. She said: !Took this photo this morning of Novers Steps. It’s all been mown again a couple of days ago. A few bits left to the buttercups.

“I really can’t see the point in mowing here. There’s so many grasses and wildflowers that have been chopped off in their prime.”

Fill Stone replied: “A few of us from Goodgym started a new wildflower patch at the bottom there in April, it got decimated by the mowing. I’m pretty livid!”

He added: “The patchy areas might look pretty at first, but this is ecocide, plain and simple. We need to be connecting green areas together, not separating!”

Environmental campaigner Alex Morss agreed with Priest, tweeting: “Yes so sad. A few years ago, three years in a row, mind, (!) the council ‘accidentally’ mowed off wildflowers planted & sown by hundreds of school children with me in Victoria Park.

“I’d organised it all with a team of community volunteers & support from wildlife charities, as one of several educational / eco projects I’d led. It was so disheartening. So much goodwill gets crushed by this sort of thing.”

Bristol City Council has been approached for a comment.

One group who helped plant the meadow at the foot of the Novers Steps was Good Gym, who run, walk and cycle to help out with community projects across the city. The Friends of Novers Hill and Crox Bottom have also been vital in creating the meadow, reported Bristol 24/7.

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