Rewilding the Borough in Ards and North Down.
Ards and North Down Borough Council is embracing biodiversity with a rewilding programme that encourages a more natural development of grassland and wildflower meadows throughout the borough.
The Council has set aside areas in a number of parks and open spaces where changes to mowing and cutting regimes are helping to breathe life into the borough’s natural landscape. The rewilding programme can start to reverse ecological damage and is the first step to improve biodiversity.
“We firmly believe that embracing and promoting the concept of rewilding allows us to start to reverse centuries of ecological damage,” said the Mayor of Ards and North Down, Alderman Bill Keery. “It encourages the development of pollinator-friendly wildflower meadows which provide food and shelter for important pollinators including bees.”
“The programme is at an early stage of development but we’ve already seen encouraging results. Swathes of white cuckoo flower and the common spotted orchid have been identified at a site in Killinchy. These are new species which have not been previously recorded at the site. It’s a very encouraging and exciting start.”
Currently there are four sites which are being actively managed for rewilding. Those sites have a different cutting and maintenance regime which encourages a more natural grassland habitat with wildflowers.
Moving forward, the Council believes that rewilding will be able to provide an overarching framework to inform policy and decision making when it comes to the local environment and biodiversity.
It will provide the basis to look at the management and control of invasive species, as well as benchmarking areas previously derelict or in a ruinous state which can be restored to a positive environmental position.