Rotherham River of Flowers
Rotherham River of Flower was started in April 2013 with an inspirational idea by Richard Jackson (at the time Rotherham Streetpride’s Principle Engineer) for dealing with the difficulties relating to vegetation maintenance in central reservations of the main duel carriageway through the city. The idea was to make fundamental changes from regular cut grass over to wildflower meadows. This would reduce the maintenance requirements but also increase the aesthetic and biodiversity value of the highway sites. The A629/630 are the main artery through Rotherham and traffic management could only be installed and works carried out during the night to keep disruption of the city roads to a minimum. This was a costly and inconvenient undertaking which prompted an alternative solution, as grass cutting visits needed to be kept to a minimum, resulting in the long grass and unkempt appearance of the city’s main thoroughfare. With budgetary restraints grass cuts were now down to an insufficient six cut routine but could be reduced even further with wildflowers requiring only three routine visits per year. Instead of a standard wildflower mix Rotherham wanted to make a real positive impact which is the reason the Pictorial Meadows range of annuals was chosen for both their famous high visual flower content and long flowering period.
Green Estate Ltd was the chosen meadow establishment contractor and preparations started during the winter by spraying the central reservations which resulted in yellow and then very open and baron looking sites. The second visit during April was to cultivate and sow the Pictorial Meadows seed along the six kilometre stretch of road. The result was a fantastic summer long flowering display which couldn’t fail to catch the eye of thousands motorists travelling through Rotherham. In the first year Rotherham received over 250 compliments from the general public and a Green Apple Award received at the houses of parliament praising the highways team for the positive changes made to the city. The reduce maintenance and positive feedback have resulted in Rotherham leading the way and inspiring other cities to carry out similar work using both Green Estate Ltd and the Pictorial Meadows range