EDITOR'S CHAIR: Councils deserve praise for wildflower displays

Pictue of the day. SEA OF COLOUR.  Pictured are wild flowers growing on the Coldra roundabout in Newport. (8422514)

Pictue of the day. SEA OF COLOUR. Pictured are wild flowers growing on the Coldra roundabout in Newport. (8422514)

First published in News
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South Wales Argus: NEW EDITOR: Kevin Ward by

IT IS all too easy to criticise local councils, and if you work for a local authority you no doubt often feel you cannot do right for doing wrong.

Councils often get the blame for things that have absolutely nothing to do with them - business rates, for instance.

And the media is as much to blame for this as anyone else.

Clearly, those of us in local journalism have a vital role to play in holding people in power to account.

But perhaps we don't give enough praise when it is due.

I like to think the Argus does a reasonable job in handing out both brickbats and bouquets to the councils in our circulation area.

So for every criticism of council newspapers as a huge waste of public funds (and I can't emphasise enough how delighted I was to receive a copy of Newport Matters on two consecutive days last week), we also highlight positive initiatives such as the use of redundant floors of the Park Square car park in Newport for sporting activities.

So, having returned from a fortnight's leave with a spring in my step, I'm going to concentrate on a particular positive this week.

And that is the fabulous displays of wild flowers in various parts of Gwent at the moment.

Over the last few years, councils have been sowing wildflower seeds on roadside verges to create some amazing displays. All of Gwent's five local councils now do this, partly with the aim of recreating some of the wildflower meadows that have been lost through the years and partly to help boost the declining bee population by providing more flowers for pollination.

I've been doing a fair amount of driving around Gwent in the last couple of weeks, and there are some particularly spectacular displays of wildflowers in the Newport and Monmouthshire areas.

It may seem like a minor issue when councils are grappling with huge financial cuts and Welsh Government plans to cut their numbers via mergers.

But there is no doubt in my mind that the wildflower displays gladden the heart when driving or walking around Gwent, especially when the weather has been as good as it has been recently.

In some areas, as many as 40 different varieties of wildflowers are on display including some that are not normally seen in urban areas.

Obviously, the sowing of wildflower seeds is not an entirely philanthropic gesture from local councils.

Maintenance of wildflowers is less intensive and therefore cheaper than it would be for flower beds.

Nevertheless, they look great.

The wildflowers will continue to bloom until the end of next month so seek them out and enjoy them while they last.

And well done to our local councils for the initiative.

  • Don't worry everyone - after a few days back in the office I'll be back to normal next week!

Comments (15)

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9:20am Thu 24 Jul 14

beechwoodboy says...

Agreed-they look really colourful.
Agreed-they look really colourful. beechwoodboy
  • Score: 17

9:34am Thu 24 Jul 14

Paxman's Army says...

I agree.

Whoever thought of this is a genius. It's lovely, good for the environment, and inexpensive. I simply can't find any fault with this very clever, beautiful idea.
I agree. Whoever thought of this is a genius. It's lovely, good for the environment, and inexpensive. I simply can't find any fault with this very clever, beautiful idea. Paxman's Army
  • Score: 21

9:38am Thu 24 Jul 14

Pafkay says...

Totally agree, they look awesome
Totally agree, they look awesome Pafkay
  • Score: 16

9:56am Thu 24 Jul 14

KarloMarko says...

Good move....now all we want is are apple trees by the bus station. And a duck pond!
Good move....now all we want is are apple trees by the bus station. And a duck pond! KarloMarko
  • Score: -15

9:56am Thu 24 Jul 14

KarloMarko says...

Good move....now all we want are apple trees by the bus station. And a duck pond!
Good move....now all we want are apple trees by the bus station. And a duck pond! KarloMarko
  • Score: -16

10:36am Thu 24 Jul 14

arjwain says...

there amazing ..as said above ..great for the butterflies ....should plant them all along the SDR rout ,,save a few pounds closing off one lane of traffic so the grass gets a cutting ..no one cares if its overgrown so save your cash council ..plant flowers and a few trees on every bit of empty land ..
there amazing ..as said above ..great for the butterflies ....should plant them all along the SDR rout ,,save a few pounds closing off one lane of traffic so the grass gets a cutting ..no one cares if its overgrown so save your cash council ..plant flowers and a few trees on every bit of empty land .. arjwain
  • Score: 14

11:08am Thu 24 Jul 14

Good Job No Kids says...

All very nice but they block sight lines on roundabout approaches
All very nice but they block sight lines on roundabout approaches Good Job No Kids
  • Score: -13

12:23pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Berni says...

A lot of people have been remarking about thiese on facebook recently. There as not been one negative response. I think they look lovely and at the end of the day there is no maintence involved. I myself was thinking of getting some myself to put in my garden for next year.
A lot of people have been remarking about thiese on facebook recently. There as not been one negative response. I think they look lovely and at the end of the day there is no maintence involved. I myself was thinking of getting some myself to put in my garden for next year. Berni
  • Score: 14

1:10pm Thu 24 Jul 14

welshmen says...

Cracking show Newport City Council, one good thing most people agree on, lovely flower show for the summer....10/10....
Cracking show Newport City Council, one good thing most people agree on, lovely flower show for the summer....10/10.... welshmen
  • Score: 9

3:19pm Thu 24 Jul 14

DavidMclean says...

KarloMarko wrote:
Good move....now all we want are apple trees by the bus station. And a duck pond!
Can't quite see why this comment got so many thumbs down. It certainly made me laugh.

I guess the sun saps people's sense of humour as well as their energy.
[quote][p][bold]KarloMarko[/bold] wrote: Good move....now all we want are apple trees by the bus station. And a duck pond![/p][/quote]Can't quite see why this comment got so many thumbs down. It certainly made me laugh. I guess the sun saps people's sense of humour as well as their energy. DavidMclean
  • Score: -6

3:54pm Thu 24 Jul 14

KarloMarko says...

Yes indeed. The fact that ducks are of a higher I.Q really angers some Argus posters. As for apples...you need teeth.
Yes indeed. The fact that ducks are of a higher I.Q really angers some Argus posters. As for apples...you need teeth. KarloMarko
  • Score: -3

6:31pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Afghan Hound says...

Good Job No Kids- Slow down and take more care, no problem.
Think yourself lucky you dont live in South Africa, not many roundabouts here, people dont now how to use them. Also most people here dont indicate, they think the stalks on the steering column are optional extras.

Karlo- Ducks, bad idea. They would soon be somebodys Sunday dinner.
Good Job No Kids- Slow down and take more care, no problem. Think yourself lucky you dont live in South Africa, not many roundabouts here, people dont now how to use them. Also most people here dont indicate, they think the stalks on the steering column are optional extras. Karlo- Ducks, bad idea. They would soon be somebodys Sunday dinner. Afghan Hound
  • Score: -1

6:40pm Thu 24 Jul 14

KarloMarko says...

Yeah, I thought that after I posted. That's why you never see many rabbits, barn owls or voles in Newport town centre....the locals have snared em for supper.
Yeah, I thought that after I posted. That's why you never see many rabbits, barn owls or voles in Newport town centre....the locals have snared em for supper. KarloMarko
  • Score: 2

9:00pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Independentvoter says...

This will go down in history - the council did something right - they planted a few wild seeds - WOW what an amazing feat !
This will go down in history - the council did something right - they planted a few wild seeds - WOW what an amazing feat ! Independentvoter
  • Score: -2

9:06pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Katie Re-Registered says...

The flowers are so colourful and beautiful. Long live flower power that's what I say!
The flowers are so colourful and beautiful. Long live flower power that's what I say! Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: 0

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