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Who'll net £120k windfall for flagship wildflower project?

Last chance to vote for 3 NI entrants in competition

By Linda Stewart

Published 24/10/2015

One project will transform its local community
One project will transform its local community
One project will transform its local community

The clock is ticking and there are just a few more days to get your Grow Wild vote in.

It's your last chance to vote which of three ambitious wildflower projects in Northern Ireland should secure a £120,000 windfall.

Three colourful projects have been shortlisted by Grow Wild for the chance to transform local spaces with native wildflowers and inspire their communities, and now it's up to the public to decide who wins £120,000 funding to become the flagship.

And Belfast Telegraph readers can join the green-fingered drive as 2,100 wildflower seed packets are up for grabs.

Grow Wild has released more details of the three projects competing for the public vote.

The Cornfield Project in Coleraine is the brainchild of Billy Ellis, whose house backs onto a neglected piece of land between the Ballysally and Millburn estates and who has campaigned tirelessly to transform it into a place of beauty for all the community.

If it wins the vote, people from both estates will come together to create nature trails, allotments, outdoor classrooms, sensory gardens, walkways and youth areas. The entire area will be swathed in wildflowers, restoring its natural beauty.

The project is led by the Focus on Family nurturing and development centre in Ballysally, in partnership with the Millburn Community Association.

Meanwhile, City Of Wildflowers is run by Belfast City Council and has the ambitious aim of transforming Belfast into a city of wildflowers. High profile sites include Belfast Zoo, where wildflowers will be planted and the team will work with the zoo to explore their use in the veterinary treatment of animals. Meanwhile, Botanic Gardens will concentrate on plants which attract insects for pollination and the Ulster Museum will explore the use of wildflowers to treat humans.

Events will also be run in local parks for all visitors to enjoy and schools and community groups in every corner of the city will get the chance to plant wildflowers in their local areas.

The team will work with young offenders at Hydebank Wood College, who will plant wildflowers and harvest their seeds, which will then be available for other groups to use right across Northern Ireland.

Flowers of Foyle will link Creggan Country Park to the centre of Londonderry through a river of wildflowers, bringing nature to the city on its route to the River Foyle and then across the Peace Bridge to Ebrington, connecting both sides of the river. This will create a new wildlife trail and increase visitors to the country park, which is located on the city's doorstep.

Residents from all communities will have the chance to get involved by planting hanging baskets, bringing wildflowers into the heart of the community. The project is run by Creggan Country Park.

How to vote

To vote for The Cornfield Project, call 0808 228 7703. To vote for City of Wildflowers, call 0808 228 7701. To vote for Flowers of Foyle, call 0808 228 7702. Voting closes November 1. To claim one of 2,100 free packets of wildflower seeds being offered to readers, fill out the form at competitions.belfasttelegraph.co.uk.

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