As many of you know, Rimrose Valley’s first wildflower meadow was created in 2019 and was funded through a combination of public donations and environmental grants, after witnessing the success of other projects in the city region.

Since this time, we have worked with Richard Scott, Director of the National Wildflower Centre for the Eden Project and a founder member of Scouse Flowerhouse; the driving force behind many of the city region’s biggest and most successful wildflower projects. The National Wildflower Centre has pioneered wildflower landscapes nationally and set new standards for nature recovery across the UK, particularly among pollinators.

Rimrose Valley is managed by Green Sefton on behalf of Sefton Council. For those less familiar with the area, the park is split into different zones. The management plan denotes which sections of the park are assigned to the ‘country park’ and which are designated as recreational space.

After Rimrose Valley Friends saw presentations of the wildflower work at a Liverpool Parks Friends Forum meeting, we approached Scouse Flowerhouse. This led to the creation of the annual meadow at the centre of Chaffer’s Running Track on an abandoned and overgrown football pitch. The project was delivered in record time and, as far as Richard is aware, has become the UK’s only wildflower running track and a fantastic facility for runners of all abilities, along with all other users of the park. The subsequent meadow project which sits between the Queensway and Derwent Road entrances was instigated and funded by a nearby Sefton Council Ward Councillor, Mike Roach. This also sits within the recreational zone of the park.

When we embarked on the first wildflower meadow project, its purpose was to draw wider attention to Rimrose Valley across the Liverpool City Region and beyond. This is because, unlike its more famous relations, including Sefton and Stanley Park, Rimrose Valley was very much a hidden gem. If you didn’t live in the locality, you would have been unlikely to know that it existed at all.

The purpose of sowing the original meadow was to reinvigorate this section of the park, to create a habitat for bees, butterflies and other pollinators, and to prompt more and more people to discover, and return to, Rimrose Valley. It has helped the National Wildflower Centre produce seed for similar projects elsewhere in the city region, including Princes Park, Walton Hall Park and Toxteth. The meadow has also generated bags of free seed harvested every year, the sale of which has raised funds for our charity, Rimrose Valley Friends.

The good news is… it worked! The meadows have been a magnet for local people and visitors alike and anyone who has visited them when in bloom will have seen how many people they attract. Indirectly, this has helped to grow our ongoing campaign to save the park from development, which began in 2017. As more and more people visit Rimrose Valley, more and more want to fight for its future.

As a ‘green’ park charity, with a commitment to the environment, biodiversity and promoting public health and wellbeing, we have listened to concerns expressed regarding the process used to maintain each meadow and specifically around the use of the herbicide, glyphosate, and the ploughing of land.

We recently met with Richard Scott to better understand this. He explained that the targeted use of glyphosate is to kill off grass and dominating plants to support the successful growth of ‘annuals’, which are often the more colourful ‘show-stopping’ varieties of flower, which have grabbed attention.

As a naturalist himself, Richard has looked at the evidence around the use of glyphosate and believes it to be safe to both wildlife and human health, citing that the recent decision by the EU to grant a new, 10-year license for its use was based on the most comprehensive research to date.

We have also heard concerns around mowing, ploughing and disrupting the earth releasing unnecessary CO2 into the atmosphere. Again, Richard has considered this, and given the lack of regular mowing, believes the carbon emissions to be small, and similar to lawn mowing. The National Wildflower Centre has pioneered carbon-capturing meadows nationally and has drafted a Cultural soil and Substrate Charter. The cultivation/turning of land has been critical to giving these special cornfield annuals the best chance of success. They are rare and on the decline, and require this annual maintenance. As with animal and insect life, arable plants need habitats too, as they do not get a chance in the industrial farmland that surrounds our cities.

As a relatively young charity, we are learning all the time. Whilst we recognise all the positive things that have come from creating and maintaining these annual meadows, we clearly don’t want to be linked to any risk to either our environment, or our health.

Because of this, we have decided to work with Richard to upgrade the Rimrose wildflower meadows using a wider variety of ‘perennial’ varieties of wildflower, which will no longer need the periodic interventions of herbicide and cultivation.

For this to be as effective as possible, Richard has advised that we should have one final season of annuals, to be sown with other perennial species, which means one final treatment of herbicide this spring, to allow the annuals to flower again and to keep the grass from dominating. This will deliver a longer-term future and trajectory for the meadows and is the same strategy applied at Everton Park and other sites across the city.

We would like to involve the community in helping to shape the future of the meadows on Rimrose Valley. If you are interested in helping with this effort, please email

If, having read the above, you have any concerns over the approach, Richard is happy to answer any questions you have and can be contacted at To learn more about their work, visit

Thank you.