Urban wildflower meadows prove popular in Germany’s cities
Berlin has set aside 1,5 million euros to create and maintain more than 50 wildflower meadows over a five-year period, in an attempt to help conserve biodiversity. Many other cities have recently followed suit.
Wild meadows help to conserve local bee populations
More than 100 wildflower meadows have been planted in some of the country’s most populous cities in the past three years. The meadows not only help local bee populations in Germany, and boost biodiversity, but they also provide beautiful green spaces for city-dwellers to enjoy.
According to Juliana Schlaberg of Germany’s Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU), the number of requests from city residents for wildflower meadows put pressure on local councils to stop prioritising manicured green lawns over actual wild meadows which can be great habitats for insects in cities.
Many were sceptical at first, though lots of people now love the new green spaces
Sunbathers and dog walkers were particularly concerned about how long grass and flower beds would impact their access to green space outside. Many people have since changed their minds, however, and research shows that the meadows really are needed to improve the health of the country’s insect population.
In 2017, a study showed that there was a 75 percent decline in flying insect biomass in Germany, since 1989. Much of this decline can be put down to toxic exhaust fumes, use of insecticides and pesticides, and a loss of diverse habitats.