Liverpool City Region is proud to be home to the internationally important and respected environmental charity, Landlife, and their National Wildflower Centre in Knowsley. The Old Rough Wildflower project is a landmark project for Landlife showing how creative conservation improves the quality of our landscape and our lives. Old Rough restored wildflowers to the hear of a new townscape and was given the UK-MAB Urban Wildlife Award for Excellence for providing a high quality landscape of wildflowers that bring nature to the people of Northwood.
It is a community landscape project, delivering creative conservation skills and landscapes in the Northwood area of Kirkby, near Liverpool, at an open space known as the Old Rough. The area contains clumps of remnant woodland, but was previously largely mown grass between tower blocks built in the 1970s.
The project was undertaken to train members of the Community Environment task team in Creative conservation skills to enable them to deliver high quality wildflower landscapes for the Northwood community. The work has resulted in over 2 hectares of dramatic wildflower landscapes amid a thirty-year old public housing area where many people are highly deprived and have low expectations in terms of public landscape. The areas of flowers, close to the summit of a slight rise in the local terrain, appear as a surprise to the visitor. They are much admired and appreciated by local residents and by people who come to visit friends in the neighbourhood. People readily express how delighted they are with the wildflower landscape. It is said to get people out of their flats to walk around the patches of flowers. Local church people have organised litter removal and tidying of the area to ensure it remains attractive.
The Old Rough site is developing a demonstration value for both local people and visitors from other areas. Over 600 children from Northwood schools are taking part in special themed days at the National Wildflower Centre.