A new look for Hartlepool road

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A MAIN road has been transformed into a sea of colour in an experiment that has brought a range of benefits.

The A689 which runs in and out of Hartlepool, has had a range of low maintenance wildflowers planted in a pilot scheme, which has improved the appearance of the half mile stretch of road from Sapper’s Corner at Greatham, heading out of town to Claxton Farm.

Poppies, scabioux, fairy toadflax and cornflowers have all been planted and the low maintenance flowers save money, help keep the council staff safe and also benefit wildlife.

Kate Ainger, environmental projects officer at Hartlepool Borough Council said: “The flowers will remain in bloom until October, they look great and provide a stunning display of colour which has resulted in a lot of positive feedback.”

The wildflowers are less maintenance than a grass verge, which needs to be cut and litter picked regularly and since the flowers were planted, there has been no need to carry out any work on this stretch of road.

The flowers are also having a positive impact on the area’s bio-diversity as they provide nectar and seeds, a valuable food source for insects and birds.

Ian Bond, council ecologist, said: “The meadow is buzzing with various species of bee, hoverfly and butterfly. This is in sharp contrast to the mown grassed areas which have very few insects by comparison.”

The pilot scheme will run until the end of the season in October, when a decision will be made to continue, or extend into other areas.