West Lancashire Council uses OAS to brighten up area

By Alistair November 2, 2023 10:08

West Lancashire Council wanted to brighten up the area for its residents with some instant colour and provide pollinators with natural habitat, it decided to trial Euroflor flower seed from Origin Amenity Solutions (OAS) on one of the major routes into the town of Skelmersdale.

Heading up this project was Stephen Bissette, clean and green operations manager at West Lancashire Borough Council. He explains, “Windmill Island in Skelmersdale is a roundabout on a major route into Skelmersdale. It is just off J5 of the M58. The council wanted to trial a wildflower area and following a meeting on flower seed in general with Gary Brindle from OAS, we sought Gary’s advice on the best way to do this and what seeds to use”.

West Lancashire Borough Council commissioned OAS to complete the trial project on its behalf which it did working alongside one of its trusted contractor partners.

For speed, ease and fast results Flora Fleece was used – a weed suppressant made from recycled fabric composed of 50 percent jute, 25 percent cotton, 25 percent brown wool, with a hessian scrim.

The matting is made of natural fibres, which will break down through the growing season in five to eight months.

On 10th May 2023 the team laid the fleece on both sides of the roundabout. Stephen comments, “A 100m2 of the Flora Fleece was used. It was quicker than weedkilling and rotavating the soil and gave the best chance of inhibiting weed ingression; it also supports seed establishment. It was easy to use. It is delivered in a roll which you unroll where you want your wildflower patch to be. And that’s it, ready for the soil. Could not be easier”.

Four tonnes of Green-tree topsoil were delivered by OAS and spread evenly on top of the Flora Fleece, in preparation for seeding. This is an environmentally friendly sustainable soil that is manufactured using organic compost and overburdened sand from quarries; products that would otherwise end up in landfill.

400 grams of Euroflor Rainbow Annuals were sown onto the topsoil and then raked over. A firm favourite because of its rapid establishment and long flowering period starting 50 to 60 days after sowing right through to the first frosts. Euroflor Rainbow displays a wide range of colours from early season – Eschscholtzias and Iberis, to mid-season Poppies, Cornflowers and Flax, giving way to Marigolds and Cosmos at the end of the season. The striking mix of bright colours red, orange, yellow, blue, and white successfully combines native flora with garden favourites.

Stephen concludes, “We had flowers in bloom on the 3rd of August, a beautiful showing which really did brighten up the approach to the roundabout. It was incredibly simple to install, required no maintenance and looked nice. I am delighted with the results and will look at other areas for 2024.”


By Alistair November 2, 2023 10:08

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