High Street planting begins

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700+ plants and shrubs to be planted in the new high street granite planters

A high quality planting scheme comprising of a mix of herbaceous and bulbous perennials, deciduous and evergreen shrubs, and four semi-mature trees has started to be planted in the granite planters near to the new John Lewis and Partners store.

Councillor Andrew McKinlay cabinet member for development and safety said: “The refurbishment to the high street has so far been well received.

“Our busy high street will showcase a biodiversity-friendly planting scheme and a lot of work has been done to balance function with aesthetic ensuring that this planting scheme will be enjoyed for years to come. We’ll certainly see a wow factor in the spring.”

In total, over 700 perennials and shrubs will be planted across the two planters, as well as four trees. Over 90 per cent of the species planted are named ‘Plants for Pollinators’ by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), and a number of these are also attractive to bird life. This was an essential part of the species selection as it forms part of a town-wide project to increase urban biodiversity by providing plants for pollinators, and in particular, for lesser known ‘solitary bee’ species.

Howard Barber, townscape lead officer, said: “We have just entered tree planting season which is mid-November to late March. As colder weather draws in, tree roots become dormant and are more able to cope with being moved. Planting at this time ensures good tree health and future growth.”

The native Bird Cherry tree species will be planted, which will produce an abundance of white flowers in spring that are attractive to pollinators. A further mix and pattern of 24 species will be planted such as: Crocuses, Alliums, Hebes, Viburnums and Echinacea that will create year-round interest.

The council will be continuing to work with the county council and its partners to identify the next phases and funding for ongoing improvements to the high street. To keep up to date with all the enhancements visit www.cheltenham.gov.uk/urbandesign.

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