A STOURBRIDGE environmental campaigner is calling on Dudley Council to do more to enable wild flowers and insects to thrive in the borough.

Mark Binnersley, from Norton, has set up a Facebook campaign group - Create Wildflower Meadows Across Stourbridge – to garner support for more wildflower meadows to be introduced to help wildlife and insects to flourish.

He has also started a petition on The Action Network website called ‘create wildflower meadows across Stourbridge’ urging the council to support to a more nature-friendly approach to land across the Dudley borough.

More than 100 people have signed the petition and now Mr Binnersley is urging Councillor Karen Shakespeare, Dudley's cabinet member for environmental, highways and street services, to give her support to the campaign and to trial different mowing regimes in Norton and Stourbridge to allow flowers and insects to flourish.

Mr Binnersley said: "Sadly, the UK has lost 97 per cent of its wildflower meadows since the 1930s.

"This trend has undoubtedly contributed to insect declines, including bees upon which we all depend for pollination of the crops we eat.

"But there is an opportunity to reverse some of this trend by sensitively managing green spaces in urban areas.

"By adopting a different mowing regime, Dudley Council could allow wildflowers to flourish on many spaces, without creating the impression the area is becoming overrun with weeds or diminishing public access.”

He said “looking after nature’s health is looking after human health” and he is calling on the council to stop its blanket mowing of green spaces and instead allow wildflowers to grow naturally.

Mr Binnersley, former co-chairman of Dudley Green Party, added: “Edges of green spaces could be mown; and mown paths and picnic areas could also be incorporated, giving sites a managed and tidy appearance.

“This approach would contribute to community wellbeing and help our embattled wildlife. The council would also not incur costs by mowing differently. It's a win-win for people, wildlife and the public purse.”

Cllr Shakespeare said some of the borough's nature reserves already have some well-established flower meadows and she added: “Introducing a wild flower meadow can take time to establish and we are currently planning on introducing an environment area as part of the Heritage Lottery Fund project at Quarry Bank park.

"I’ve had also had contact from other communities and I would be happy to work with them in the future to see what we can achieve.”