Roundabouts set to bloom !

The University of Sheffield Department of Landscape, Pictorial Meadows and Enterprise Rent-A-Car work together to bring sustainable wildflower meadows to urban roundabouts across the country
Following a 12-month collaboration with the University of Sheffield’s Department of Landscape, Pictorial Meadows and local authorities across the country, Enterprise Rent-A-Car is announcing the seven roundabouts that have been selected as sites for the creation of sustainable perennial wildflower meadows.
The £130,000 project will transform the roundabouts in the busy areas of Glasgow, Sheffield, Leeds, Birmingham, Swindon, Liverpool and Woking. The seven sites, handpicked by local authorities, were also chosen for their proximity to major arterial roads to maximise their impact on local communities. Enterprise has also sponsored the landscaping of several sites in Elmbridge, Surrey, near the company’s headquarters.
In addition to bringing a blast of nature into Britain’s urban areas, the programme also supports the Government’s National Pollinator Strategy, launched by DEFRA in November 2014, which aims to improve conditions for bees and other pollinating insects.
Each meadow has been designed by Nigel Dunnett, Professor of Planting Design, and Vegetation Technology at The University of Sheffield. Professor Dunnett is well-known for his innovative and pioneering work in urban landscape design and planting. He was lead planting designer and horticultural consultant for the 2012 Olympic Park, together with his colleague James Hitchmough, creating stunning meadow displays and beautiful perennial gardens for the largest new urban park to be made in the UK, and is a Gold Medal winner at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
The Enterprise roundabout project will combine a whole range of techniques and methods to achieve striking transformations. Robust perennial plants, vigorous shrubs and colourful bulbs are combined with seed mixes of colourful annuals and perennials, specially selected for the climate and growing conditions prevalent in each location. A special innovation is the cultivation of two acres of assorted ‘pre-grown’ meadow mats at a site in Lincolnshire to provide sufficient meadow for the Enterprise project. The mats are cultivated off-site to allow for intensive irrigation essential to ensuring the young plants establish a strong root base.
Following careful preparation of the ground, the plants, seeds and meadow mats will be put in place in the autumn of 2015.
Sue France, director of Pictorial Meadows,  said: “Public sector budgets are very tight. With so many priorities it is very hard for local authorities to allocate funds to new landscape initiatives even if they are sustainable and have local social and environmental impact. This project is an example of public, private and third sectors working together to achieve something that will make a long-term difference. We know many local authorities are seeing this as a pathfinder project that will enable other more long-term planting schemes in the future.”
The location of the seven roundabouts to be re-landscaped are:

  • Sherlock Street roundabout, Birmingham
  • Drumry Road roundabout, Glasgow
  • Middleton roundabout, Leeds
  • East Prescott Road roundabout, Liverpool
  • Park Square roundabout, Sheffield
  • Elgin Drive and Kembrey Park roundabouts, Swindon
  • Robin Hood Road roundabout, Woking


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