THE FINAL steps of the Wildlife Ways programme in Solihull is underway after three million bulbs have been planted since the project began.
Over the past few years the Wildlife Ways has been working to make the borough greener by opening up and working on existing paths and cycle routes whilst allowing wildlife to flourish.
The project cost £16.8million with around half of this coming from the European Regional Development Fund and other contributions from the National Productivity Investment Fund and West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).
The project has worked on 69km of existing footpath and cycle networks in Solihull and 23km of new footways and improved access for cyclists.
The routes have all been landscaped and link, where possible, existing green spaces and offer sustainable transport options.
The project has improved the habitat value of 56 hectares of parks and open spaces for the benefit of people and wildlife – more than 90 football pitches.
Although not all the works have been welcomed in the borough.
Some works in Dorridge Park and Elmdon Park saw residents up in arms over tree thinning in a bid to improve the woodland floor.
Last autumn the landscape contractor, idverde, planted 2.7 Million bulbs, and this autumn should be planting another million.
Danny Hudson, project manager, said: “Several schools and some local groups have also participated in the planting, and will enjoy them as they increase in flower, with new baby bulbs developing over the years to come.
“Many of the wildflower areas idverde installed have made a huge positive impression on their areas and local people.
“In some cases the benefits have been immediate.
“The fabulous floristic meadow turf used by our landscape contractor idverde has been inspired by nature, but designed to give an instant effect of colour and good structure.
“It is immediately liked by those who see it, as responses to our turf along Monkspath Hall Road and on Station Approach have shown.
“Praise has come via social media and our inbox for the many displays people have enjoyed whilst out for their daily exercise.”