City to Sea project is runner-up for Grow Wild England flagship site

Plymouth’s City to Sea project has been named as a runner-up for the Grow Wild England flagship site, after a four-week voting campaign that saw nearly 65,000 votes cast.

Led by Plymouth City Council, the City to Sea project aimed to reinvigorate the city centre with a striking kilometre-long wild flower corridor and over 12,500 votes were cast in support of the vision. 

Councillor Brian Vincent, Cabinet Member for the Environment said: “We ran an energetic campaign and the response from residents was overwhelmingly positive. I’d like to thank everyone who voted for us and we are exploring options with partners to create a wildflower display in the city centre.”

Plymouth will receive a £5,000 Grow Wild award to continue developing its ideas for a dynamic local project, including Grow Wild support during 2015 to help towards securing alternative funding. The project will also join the network of 70 new Grow Wild community projects to be launched next spring.

The five projects in the public vote were: City to Sea in Plymouth, Cody Wilds in East London, Love Square in Sheffield, People’s Plant Collection in Bristol and Tale of Two Cities in Liverpool and Manchester. The winning project was Tale of Two Cities.

Each project team pulled together their local, regional and national supporters to vote for their site online and by telephone from 7 October to 4 November 2014.

The England flagship campaign was the second high-profile Grow Wild flagship site, following the launch of the Scottish flagship in Barrhead, Scotland in June this year. Another two are planned for Wales and Northern Ireland and will be rolled out in 2017. Each receives £120,000 to create a site to inspire Grow Wild participants, involve young people and leave a lasting footprint of the programme in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Vinny Ganley, England Partnership Manager for Grow Wild said: “We are so proud of all the sites that were involved in the public vote. Any one of the sites would have been a worthy winner. The energy, creativeness and public support for their campaigns prove they will all do something brilliant with the support of Grow Wild.”

Grow Wild launched in 2012 to inspire three million people to take direct action in their city for UK native wild flowers. Funded by the Big Lottery Fund and led by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Grow Wild aims to inspire people to get together to transform unloved urban sites, gardens and windowsills into wildlife-friendly wild flower patches.

Gay Coley, Director of Public Programmes for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew said: “All the shortlisted projects ran brilliant campaigns that show how much can happen when people come together to make a difference. Each of our Grow Wild Flagship project applications in England have been truly inspiring, and captured the hearts and minds of their audience. We are delighted that we will be continuing to work with them in the future.”