Wildflower meadows planted outside Front Gate

Work began on reshaping the old lawn earlier this week

Trinity has begun planting the new wildflower meadows outside Front Gate following work beginning on transforming the lawn earlier this week.

The conversation of the lawn into wildflower meadows comes after thousands of students, staff and members of the public voted to replace the manicured lawns beside Front Gate with the more nature-friendly alternative. 

The poll was held in February of this year, and received 13,850 votes, with 12,496 of those, around 90%, in favour of the conversion to wildflower meadows.

Earlier this week, gardeners shaved off the soil and replaced it with wildflower turd used to create the wildflower meadows.

According to College, the new wildflower meadows will further increase the range of plant species available for pollinators.

 Professor John Parnell, Chair of Trinity’s grounds and gardens committee said that although the space may look a “little less tidy than it once did”, it will “be more colourful and serve as a constant reminder of what nature looks like while underlining the increasingly important role we all have in protecting our environment”.

 “The meadows will flower from Spring to Autumn and be left untouched over the winter months when pollinating insects, such as butterflies, hoverflies and bees, are not active,” Professor Parnell continued.

“We think that this change sends out a strong signal that Trinity is not bound by the past but engaged with the future, and that we, as an institution, are keen to engage with the wider world on important societal issues.”

The wildflowers being planted will include a mix of annuals and perennials, with as many as possible being of known Irish origin. Planting may be supplemented with some bulbs and rhizomatous plants also. 

The “the main aim” will be for flowering to extend over as long a period as is possible. 

Michele Hallahan, Sustainability Advisor at Trinity, said: “The wildflower meadow is one of many steps that Trinity is taking with sustainability / regeneration in mind. We are delighted that such a high proportion of our students, staff and members of the public voted in favour of this milestone initiative.”

Hallahan added: “The fact that so many people in our community participated in this historic decision is a powerful testament to our collective desire to create spaces for nature in our cities.”

Previously, bats had been found around areas that were converted to wildflower gardens, proving the importance of biodiversity on campus.

Shannon Connolly

Shannon Connolly is the News Editor of Trinity News, and a Junior Fresh English and Philosophy student.