Wild meadow to be created on Bristol's College Green one year on from Greta Thunberg rally

Greta Thunberg in Bristol. Credit: PA

Money raised after Greta Thunberg's visit to Bristol a year ago will be used for a re-wilding project in the city centre.

The rally on February 28 last year marked climate activist Greta Thunberg's 80th school strike - and saw 15,000 people march through Bristol in the pouring rain.

The protest was organised by Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate Change and during it Greta spoke to one of the biggest crowds Bristol has ever seen.

But the wet weather meant the grass on College Green was largely destroyed.

College Green was turned into a muddy field following the rally.

A fundraiser was launched at the time to pay for repairs - although the grass quickly recovered - and now some of it will be used to create a meadow outside Bristol Cathedral.

A space equal to two tennis courts will be filled with wild flowers and flowering trees to help people's mental wellbeing and encourage more wildlife diversity in the area.

The Very Rev Mandy Ford, Dean of Bristol, said: "We are incredible excited by this project. It's such an imaginative and innovative way of looking after our green space and it's a great start for us as a Cathedral.

"We have a project to be carbon neutral by 2030, we want to be playing our part in sustaining the earth and creation and this is a really interesting way to be doing it."

Barnaby Swonnell, who was one of the organisers of the strike, said: "It's amazing to be here one year later announcing part of a campaign to re-wild College Green so we've got more ecological diversity in the centre of Bristol which is absolutely essential."

What the meadow around Bristol Cathedral could look like.

Charlee Bennett, director of Bristol and Bath Parks Foundation, said: "The benefits of this project are going to be huge.

"Not only are we going to create a new habitat at the heart of the city and see more nature supported, whether that's insects, pollinators, birds and even bats but it's also going to be huge for our health and wellbeing.

"If you think about the number of people who have found their local parks and green spaces lifelines during the pandemic, having such a rich habitat close to the centre of the city is going to provide that daily dose of nature that people really need."

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