Funds raised after a climate strike in Bristol with Greta Thunberg will be used for a rewilding project on the site the protest took place, it has been announced.
Greta, 18, was the headline speaker at the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate at College Green in the city on February 28 last year.
More than 15,000 people attended the event, which coincided with Greta’s 80th school strike, in the pouring rain.
After the protest, a fundraiser was launched to repair the ground at College Green, which was left muddy and without grass.
The campaign, launched by local resident Jon Usher, raised £15,575 with an additional contribution of £5,000 from the company Good Energy.
Repairs to the lawn were completed in April 2020 and the remaining funds will now be used to create meadows at the site.
These will contain native species such as strawberry clover, cowslip, white campion, and tufted vetch as well as bright flowering species such as common poppy, cornflower and yellow rattle.
It is hoped this will attract pollinators such as solitary bees, beetles, bumble bees, butterflies, hoverflies that will in turn support more insect-feeding birds.
The Very Revd Mandy Ford, Dean of Bristol, said: “It is a great joy to be hosting this wild space on College Green in the shelter of Bristol Cathedral, with all its diversity of plants and the promise of insects and birds to enhance the area.”
An existing wildflower meadow strip, planted by Avon Wildlife Trust, will be incorporated into the new meadows through plug planting from the charity’s wildflower nursery.
Charlee Bennett is the director of Bristol and Bath Parks Foundation, which has been acting as custodian of the funds raised to repair the lawn.
“We’re delighted to be leading this partnership to explore new and innovative ways to support more nature in the heart of Bristol,” she said.
“Today we are setting out plans for the first stage of what we hope will be a long-term project to re-vision College Green for nature.
“Bristol City Council has already improved the flower bed beside City Hall to support a wider range of pollinators. I am really excited about the long-term potential of this project and what we can achieve together.”
Isobel, from Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate, said the meadow would act as a “continuous symbol of the power and hope” felt at the climate strikes.
“The meadow is a great step in reimagining intensely used inner-city green spaces,” she said.
During the protest, Greta took to the stage to loud chants of “Greta, Greta” before speaking for five minutes to a cheering crowd of all ages.
She pledged: “I will not be silent while the world is on fire” and took aim at world leaders, saying they were “behaving like children” in relation to the climate crisis.
The Swedish teenager, who arrived in Bristol by train, then went on to join protesters on a march through Bristol city centre.
Greta walked behind a large green banner reading “Skolstrejk for Klimatet”, which translates as School Strike for Climate.
After the event, Bristol City Council and Avon and Somerset Police said the protest had run smoothly and was a “safe event” for the young people who attended.