A project committed to improving Denbighshire’s biodiversity has tracked the migration of an insect that first flew into Britain in the 1940s.
As part of the Council’s ongoing commitment to enhancing biodiversity across the county, nearly 60 sites, including highway verges, footpath edges, cycleways and amenity grasslands, are being managed to create wildflower meadows. These sites, along with the 11 roadside nature reserves, equate to about 30 football pitches worth of Denbighshire grassland managed as native wildflower meadows.
As well as protecting wildflowers, the meadows are also supporting the welfare of native insects to the Denbighshire area.
And officers leading the project have discovered that another guest has flown into local meadows as it makes its way north in the UK due to warmer weather.
Hornet Hoverflies have been found at wildflower meadow sites in Rhuddlan and Prestatyn recently. They can be seen from May till October and despite looking like a stinging hornet, they are actually harmless.
The species established itself in Britain in the south during the 1940s and was once regarded as rare. Today, due to warmer yearly weather the Hornet Hoverfly has gradually moved northwards up the country.
Cllr Tony Thomas, the Council’s lead member for Housing and Communities said: “Our wildflower meadows are an important part in the Council’s commitment to biodiversity and preserving our native flowers and insect population. They are also carrying out a very important role in mapping out how climate change is shaping the world of nature in our area shown by this discovery of Hornet Hoverflies near our coastal areas of the county.
All wildflower sites are managed in line with Plantlife’s Managing Grassland Road Verges guidelines which sees the grass cutting at these sites prohibited between March and August each year, giving wildflowers enough time to grow, flower, and set seed.
The site is then cut after August and cuttings collected to reduce soil fertility and provide the wildflowers with the best conditions possible.
To find out more about the wildflower meadows across Denbighshire visit the link below