A number of wildflower meadows will be created in Denbighshire as part of a pilot to increase biodiversity.

Denbighshire County Council has identified 21 sites including highway verges, footpath edges, cycleways and amenity grasslands, which will now be managed to create wildflower meadows.

Meadow management prohibits grass cutting between March and August each year, giving wildflowers enough time to grow, flower, and set seed.

These sites will be monitored and borders cut around the sites to ensure there is no impact on the highway network or road safety.

The pilot includes sites in Prestatyn, Rhyl, Corwen, Cynwyd, Denbigh, Henllan, Llanferres, Llanrhaedr, Pwllglas and Ruthin which will all be given a ‘full cut’ in early September.

Cllr Tony Thomas, Lead Member for Housing and Communities, said: “Ensuring these 21 sites, which amount to 62 acres, are to be managed in a more environmentally friendly way which will help increase biodiversity, creating thriving habitats in areas previously cut back.

“This work is in addition to our rural grass cutting policy which sees all non-principal roads within Denbighshire, cut once per year.

“This is part of our work to enhance and protect the environment under our Corporate Plan as well as the work around the Climate Change and Ecological Emergency that has been declared by the Council.

“We would like to reassure residents these sites will be managed in a way as to not impact motorists.”

The Council has secured funding from the Welsh Government’s Enabling Natural Resources and Wellbeing grant, matched by funding from the Council’s Climate Change and Ecological Emergency budget, to purchase specialist equipment to manage the sites.

Kate Petty, Road Verge Campaign Manager for British conservation charity Plantlife, said: “Denbighshire County Council’s progressive moves to better manage road verges and greenspace as part of their Corporate Plan and Ecological Emergency declaration is wonderful news for wild flowers and the wealth of wildlife they underpin.

“We’re delighted to see Denbighshire exemplifying the best practice verge management promoted by Plantlife and demonstrate the practical and cost-effective ways all councils can change grass cutting regimes to benefit biodiversity and brighten up people’s lives whilst keeping roads safe.”

Signage at each site will identify it as a Bee Friendly area and include information about wildflower grassland management.

This work builds on the highway verge at Plas Lorna, Rhuddlan, which has created 1.5 acres of wildflower meadow protecting native local plant and animal species.