Flower beds transformed across Thanet as part of biodiversity push

Flower beds have been transformed across the district

Flower beds across the district have been transformed as part of Thanet District Council’s Climate and Biodiversity Emergency Declaration.

The scheme was launched to create a new and more effective approach to planting in council-maintained flower beds. 

The aim is to move away from more traditional planting of ‘annuals’ and replace them with perennial plants. 

Perennials live for a number of years and regrow every spring, while annual plants live for only one growing season, then die off, meaning that they need to be replaced each year. 

New plants were chosen to provide a variety of foliage, texture, flowering periods, colour and  fragrance and planting started earlier this year. 

The council says improving biodiversity was also an important consideration and the new planting will help to create habitats for pollinators and other insects, enhance soil life, and importantly, increase the visual appeal and beauty of the beds for the residents and visitors who enjoy them.

Cllr George Kup

The council’s Biodiversity and Horticulture Officer carefully considered the plants’ tolerance of coastal conditions and exposure to salt, as many of the beds across the district are in exposed locations. 

The team has planted hardy annuals among the new perennial planting, to fill the gaps until the perennials become more established. 

As the years progress, the beds will continue to improve, and the earth will start to be covered by the plants intermingling together.

The new perennial plants will be lifted and divided every three to four years. 

As well as keeping the plants in top condition, the new approach means that the council is able to use these beds as stock beds, growing its own plants which will be divided and transplanted to other locations, reducing the long term cost of planting and helping to drive sustainability.

Beds have been transformed at Westgate seafront, Westgate War Memorial, the Buenos Ayres beds near Margate Station, Trinity Park, Gina Malick Memorial Garden, Cliftonville Oval, Broadstairs seafront promenade and Hopeville Avenue, St Peters.

Residents are helping to ensure the beds thrive and become established by watering them when the weather is dry, as well as by ‘edging’ the beds to stop couch grass and field bindweed taking hold. 

Councillor George Kup, cabinet member for community safety and youth engagement, said: “The flower beds provide great interest throughout the district, and it’s great to see the wide variety of planting, benefiting local residents, visitors and most importantly the environment. 

“I hope that the project can be extended to additional areas in Thanet over the next few years. 

“It has been particularly heartening to see the successful collaboration between residents and council teams in Westgate-on-Sea and at the Cliftonville Oval.”

The initiative was led by the council’s Open Spaces team, and forms part of the response to the Biodiversity and Climate Emergency, announced in 2019. 

The council is working with a range of local groups across the district, and plans to create further areas of more sustainable planting, though key to this is the availability of locally produced compost. 

If you would like to take part in the project, contact the council’s Open Spaces team at [email protected].

5 Comments

  1. Wilding and managing our green spaces is a laudable aim. But why is it it that inappropriate cutting of hedgerows cutting down of trees and in Parts of Thanet mowing grass spaces into the ground is still taking place. This article like much presented by TDC is a touch hyperbolic and wide of the mark and doesn’t reflect the broader picture that many residents and local groups are struggling to overcome and impact on the neglect of green spaces by TDC in the main , on their own .

    Look no further than the relatively recent Dalby square public garden regeneration initiative to see the most wasteful and shocking execution of an open space scheme, using public and central govt funds I believe I have ever seen .
    The planting is appalling the hard landscaping is poor . Looking semi derelict now with detritus everywhere . The two good things to come out of this thinking hard about it is an outdoor children’s play space although looking pretty neglected now and a potentially useable green space saved from being a car parking space .
    In it’s present state it’s just a total embarrassment ! Cllr KUP please apply yourself to this eyesore .

    • And full of dogs mess on the grass area. It is looking derelict and unloved now. It’s all good receiving funding to develop these community spaces but their also needs funding to keep them continually maintained which never seems to be thought of when applying for grants. If events were programmed with fundraising activities then the future of those gardens could be more certain but at the moment it might look better putting it back as a car park again. Maybe, a much needed car park with greenery, shrubs and trees !

  2. I must be missing something – all I’ve seen this summer is overgrown flowerbeds, green spaces and grass verges leaving most of Thanet looking like a neglected wasteland?

  3. Some areas near where I live are supposed to be maintained by the council but are just hacked once a year.When some of us residents were weeding and adding plants we were told we shouldn’t be doing as it belongs to the council.Now it very over grown and covered in bindweed.Also people dumping rubbish as it looks such a mess. We are not encouraged to look after our areas.

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