Antrim estate to Grow Wild with wildflower makeover

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A large wildflower project is set to transform the Steeple Estate in Antrim as part of a scheme to create a ‘Walk on the Wild Side’.

The project got underway earlier this month with 750 plant plugs sown into the ground .

Pupils from both Parkhall Integrated College and Antrim Grammar School, as well as dozens of local residents, joined Councillor Thomas Hogg, Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, and Councillor Neil Kelly to help place 750 plant plugs on a council-owned site next to the estate’s playpark.

The area has been brightened up with the colourful local wild flowers to encourage the residents to come out of their houses and enjoy their surroundings by walking on the wild side through the flowers.

‘Walk on the Wild Side’ is an idea from residents’ group the Steeple Community Association.

The community group is doing all this with funding from Grow Wild, the UK-wide wild flower project run by the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew and supported by the Big Lottery Fund.

Craig Hogg, a committee member of Steeple Community Association, said: “This will do wonders for the estate, it is a fantastic way to brighten up the area while also getting local people of all ages more involved with wild flowers.

“We are really pleased Grow Wild and the Big Lottery Fund have been able to support our idea.”

Since 2014, Grow Wild has funded dozens of community projects across Northern Ireland, enabling them to bring their ideas into bloom for the benefit of the local area.

Supported by the Big Lottery Fund and led by Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Grow Wild inspires communities across to come together to transform local spaces.

Stéphanie Baine, Northern Ireland partnership manager for Grow Wild, said: “This is a lovely project and it was great to see so many local people getting their fingers green and helping plant all these flowers.

“We at Grow Wild love being able to support the vision of people within their own communities and help them bring their ideas into bloom.”

Joanne McDowell, NI Director of The Big Lottery Fund, said: “We are pleased to continue our support for Grow Wild, which uses wild flowers to bring people together and as a starting point for making huge differences to local areas across Northern Ireland.”