Work begins on converting Front Gate lawn to wildflower meadow

The lawn is being transformed into a wildflower meadow following a vote held in March

Work has begun on the conversion of the lawn outside Front Gate to a wildflower meadow as the lawn is shaved from the soil.

The lawn facing onto College Green is being shaved off of the soil, and is to be replaced with wildflower turf to create a new meadow of wildflowers.

In their Green Campus newsletter, Trinity’s Sustainability Network outlined that the 25 varieties of wildflower will “provide food, shelter and mating grounds for a wide variety of pollinators”. 

They also said that the decision to plant the wildflower lawn “shows great leadership, in that Trinity will be using its city centre location to showcase some native wildflowers in the middle of one of the most dense urban environments in Ireland”. 

The grass that is shaved from the soil is to be reused elsewhere. 

This is the latest in a series of projects by Trinity that aim to promote biodiversity in the city.

The project is the result of an online vote held last March, in which over 90% of voters opted to transform the lawn into a wildflower meadow. Chair of the Grounds and Gardens Committee Professor John Parnell said that the results showed that “people want to see more biodiversity and in particular want institutions to set an example”.

Speaking to Trinity News, Zoology Research associate and science officer for the Herpetological Society of Ireland, Collie Ennis, said that Trinity is “doing fantastic work for biodiversity in the city”. 

Over the past year, Trinity has converted over 1,000 square metres of the college campus into wildflower lawns. The recent opening of the business school included the installation of the largest living wall in Dublin. This vertical garden promotes biodiversity and includes seven different plant species that have been selected to suit its North Eastern elevation. 

Citing these projects, as well as the wildlife-friendly chief steward’s garden near the Dining Hall, Ennis said that “it’s a credit to the college authorities and grounds staff and really exciting to see in the middle of the city”.

As well as providing food and habitats for native wildlife, the National Biodiversity Data centre reports that Ireland’s biodiversity contributes €2.6 billion to the Irish economy annually.

Patrick Coyle

Patrick Coyle is a News Analysis Editor for Trinity News, and a Junior Sophister student of English Literature and Spanish.