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It was upsetting to hear the news last week that the UK has lost 95% of its wildflower meadows since the 1930s.

But as worrying as it is, we can all do our bit to reverse that trend. In Hyde Park I have been working to increase the number of wild flowers for a few years now.

Wild flowers are so important to wildlife, providing essential habitat and planting them will improve native species for the future.

Traditionally visitors to Hyde Park would expect to see formal flower displays - there are still plenty of those but in amongst them now you will see the odd Foxglove, Herb Robert or Corn Marigold popping up!

It has been a cold start to the year but I'm pleased to say that flowers are starting to open and there are plenty of wild flowers to be seen throughout the park. They have a long and varied flowering season so there is always something of interest throughout the summer.

One specific wildflower bed I am delighted to see in bloom is our Bumblebee Border - created specifically for another of our declining species - the bumblebee.

The Bumblebee Border is located on West Carriage Drive by the Bowling Green and at the moment it is looking beautiful with pastel colours from plants such as Red Campion, Aquilegia and Ox-Eye Daisies. There are also Teasels with their architectural form and these are popular with bees in the summer and then with Goldfinches in the autumn.

Ornamental species are also enjoyed by bees so in shrub beds I am growing plants such as Lavender, Broom and Buddleja. These along with the wild flowers attract a number of other insects, including butterflies.

Last year Hyde Park played a major part in London 2012, hosting the Olympic Triathlon and Marathon Swimming as well as BT London Live and as part of our reinstatement funding from LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) we have planted a new wildflower meadow in The Cockpit area of the park, featuring a mix of lowland meadow wild flowers - which should be at its best each July and August.

Other areas to see half hardy annuals and wild flowers in Hyde Park:

* The Serpentine lake side planting, located alongside Serpentine Bridge
* The Lido annual meadow, located near The Lido Restaurant
* The Dell, located between The Serpentine Bar and Kitchen and Rotten Row
* The Rose Garden, located on Serpentine Road near Hyde Park Corner

Map of Hyde Park

Bumblebee Border, Hyde Park



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