The first wildflower seeds have been sown as part of an Eden Project, PlayStation and Lancaster City Council collaboration in Morecambe Bay to celebrate the launch of Horizon Forbidden West.
Sunny Slopes in Heysham was sown on Saturday by staff from the Eden Project’s National Wildflower Centre and Lancaster City Council alongside members of the public and community groups and volunteers from projects including The Bay, a nature and wellbeing programme for people in Morecambe Bay.
The wildflower sowing has been developed to support local wildlife, aid biodiversity, connect the local community to the natural world as well as giving the Morecambe Bay area an injection of vibrant colour when the flowers bloom in the summer.
The sowing is part of a programme of Eden activity in the region ahead of the construction of Eden Project North. The new attraction, which will be situated on the seafront in Morecambe, is due to open to the public in 2024, subject to funding. It received planning permission in January this year (2022).
With an estimated loss of 97 per cent of wildflower meadows in England and Wales since the 1930s, the National Wildflower Centre is combining conservation, creativity and colour to create new and vibrant wildflower habitats in underused spaces across the UK.
Drawing on the immense beauty of the natural world portrayed in Horizon Forbidden West, the partnership will see the creation of a 12-acre wildflower habitat in Morecambe, spread across 11 sites in and around the town. As well as Sunny Slopes, other sites in the area include West End Gardens and Happy Mount Park.
Further sowing will take place in other sites in the coming weeks.
David Harland, Chief Executive of Eden Project International, said: “It’s great to be working with PlayStation and Lancaster City Council to bring these new wild spaces to Morecambe. They will be areas that we hope will inspire joy as much as they encourage biodiversity.
“These wildflower meadows are part of our continued commitment to Morecambe and we hope to see them still blooming throughout the Eden Project North construction period and for many years after the project opens to the public. We intend to be in Morecambe for decades to come and this project is part of that vision.”
Councillor Dave Brookes, Lancaster City Council cabinet member for environmental services, said: “As well as a climate emergency we are facing a biodiversity emergency, with essential pollinators such as bees, hoverflies, and butterflies in worrying decline. Recreating wildflower habitats is really important to help reverse this, while also providing a huge visual benefit for residents and visitors.”
To launch the partnership earlier this year, PlayStation and the Eden Project lit up the iconic Eden Project Biomes in Cornwall as a representation of Aloy’s Shieldwing that features in Horizon Forbidden West.