CHILDREN from five schools and community groups have planted 6,000 wildflowers as part of the Kendal Pollinator Project during September.

The work has been carried out in plots along the town's canal tow-path which is a popular pedestrian and cycle route.

Sixty Year 4 pupils from Heron Hill and Stramongate primary schools, assisted by local volunteers, were busy planting wildflowers along the path on Tuesday.

“We had to lay out all the plants first, then put them in the planting holes. It was quite tiring," said Freya Richards of the Wildlife Watch group. "This work will increase the amount of insects here, and will make a nicer place for the whole community.”

The wildflowers have been carefully chosen with the help of scientists from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology at Lancaster University to benefit pollinating insects, to fit in with the area's climate and ecology and to look attractive in a public area.

Over the next two years young people will continue to survey the sites to assess the changes to wildflowers, and the impact this has on number and variety of pollinating insects.

Through the project, young people are learning about how important pollinating insects are to the health of the countryside, and how they play a vital role in ensuring fruiting of crops in farms and gardens.

At the same time they are contributing vital scientific data which will enable a better understanding of managing grassland areas in urban areas, and how that affects pollinating insects.

Chris Rowley from South Lakes Action on Climate Change towards transition (SLACCtt), which is managing the project, said: “We are delighted to be working with hundreds of local young people, to make some significant changes which will improve the environment for people and for natural species.

"We are excited about seeing the data which children collect, and learning more about how to improve our local environment for pollinating insects.”

The three year science education project is being funded by the Ernest Cook Trust and Kendal Town Council.