I will be the gladdest thing Under the sun! I will touch a hundred flowers And not pick one. Edna St. Vincent Millay
The original name of Breightmet, a suburb of Bolton is Bright Meadows, The name comes from the Old English breorht meaning bright and maed meaning meadow. But you might be forgiven for thinking that with such a name that this suburb is a leafy green place tucked into Bolton’s agrarian belt. far from it, in part Breightmet is a large Council Estate situated on a hill outside of Bolton town centre. Like many Council estates across the UK green spaces are not used to their full potential, they can become dumping grounds for lazy folk who cant be bothered taking their rubbish to the local tip, or they simply stand idol and become covered with Dock leaves, Horse tail and other invasive plants. But Tony Cottom Bolton at Home Manager for Breightmet is slowly changing how land in the area is perceived and used by creating small wild flower meadows that are dotted around the estate. We recently spoke to Tony who explained that the initial aim of the wild flowers was to improve the entrance and exits to Breightmet across five different locations, but the response from local Councillors and residents has been very positive which has prompted Tony’s idea to be further developed and rolled out around Breightmet.
Good for the whole community
The wildflower meadows have a beneficial effects on the area, firstly they help a variety of different bees and pollinators by providing forage and pollination, they are also very pleasing to the eye in terms of their aesthetic beauty, and they break the conformity of some of the estates housing. Tony also put forward the idea that in the future he would like to train up local unemployed young people to develop and maintain the wild flower across Breightmet which not only provides much needed employment for young people in the area, but also helps to generate a local economy by employing people who actually live in the locations where the flower meadows are situated.
Following the progress of the wild flower project
Creating wild flower meadows is not rocket science, and indeed is not too expensive when compared to other gardening and horticulture related work commissioned by Councils and Housing providers accross the UK, yet the effect can be far more dramatic and long lasting in the minds of local residents and the eco systems that thrive as a result of their existence, we look forward to returning to the sites in a few weeks time when the rest of the meadows have fully bloomed, no doubt this visit will be an absolute pleasure and a sight for sore eyes.