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Trinity College plants new wildflower meadow on College Green

The lawn’s conversion to a wildflower meadow follows a survey of staff, students and the public earlier this year.

Image: Trinity College Dublin

TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN has planted a new meadow outside its front gate that will sprout wildflowers from spring to autumn.

The university has planted wildflower turf at its entrance on College Green, replacing its former lawn which was removed earlier this week.

Work on the new meadow began at the start of this week as the old lawn was ‘shaved’ from the soil.

The old lawn has been rolled up and is to be reused elsewhere.

The lawn’s conversion to a wildflower meadow follows a vote in February which polled Trinity’s staff, students, and members of the public on whether to replace the lawn with wildflowers as a step towards increasing Dublin’s biodiversity.

Nearly 14,000 votes were cast in the poll, with 90% voting in favour of the new meadow.

The flowers planted will feature a mix of annuals (flowers that live for one growing season) and perennials (flowers that regrow). 

In addition, the planting may be supplemented with bulbs and rhizomatous plants, such as wood anemones, a flower in the buttercup family.

Chair of Trinity’s grounds and gardens committee Professor John Parnell said that the wildflowers would “bloom in one of the most prominent areas in Dublin, which is passed by thousands of people every day”.

“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,” Parnell said.

“The green space outside our iconic Front Gate may look a little less tidy than it once did but 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.”

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Trinity’s sustainability advisor, Michele Hallahan, said the introduction of the wildflower meadow was taken with sustainability and regeneration in mind.

“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.”

It is expected that the meadow will significantly feature wildflowers of known Irish origin.

The wildflowers will increase the range of plant species available for pollinators, while reducing the instance of lawn-mowing and ground preparing that can disturb insects which use the soil for feeding and nesting.

The area comes in addition to around 1,000 square metres of wildflower turf planted last year around Trinity’s campus, which is used for biodiversity and research.

The meadow is located at Trinity’s main entrance on College Green at the end of Dame Street, between statues of Oliver Goldsmith and Edmund Burke.

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