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A wall once described as the ugliest wall in Wiltshire has been transformed after local groups and Bradford-on-Avon Town Council raised funds to bring life to the bare, dirt-stained wall.

Stephanie Edwards, a local resident, kick-started the project in 2019 by bringing her idea to the Town Council, as a way to help mitigate air pollution in the town centre.

Whilst Stephanie admits that gaining funds for the project was a struggle, she says the finished product is a “great success” and well worth the process: “I realised that the centre of this town was so beautiful, with its café culture, but there was this grim wall. Apparently, it was known as one of the ugliest walls in Wiltshire.”

bare dirty concrete wall in town centre

"Funding for the Living Green Wall was extremely difficult during Covid. I approached Councillor Alex Kay to support this initiative and she actively engaged the Town Council and thanks to everyone involved the project has been a great success."

Chair of the Environment & Green Spaces committee, Councillor Alex Kay said: “With the addition of the living green wall, Bradford on Avon is making further strides toward becoming a town which can be held up as eco-friendly and eco-conscious.

“I hope the whole community – residents, businesses and visitors will look on at this wall, smile and think ‘what can I do greener today?’"

children standing next to a green living wall

Viritopia designed this living wall using over 3,500 plants, specifically designed to improve local air quality and create a point of interest in the town with plenty of seasonal planting.  Also included are birdhouses and bug hotels to attract local wildlife.

"Already the plants have brought with them bees and insects, and we've had a couple of birds sitting up there so it's working for sure and we must not forget the health and wellbeing benefits", Stephanie noted within days of installation.

team of construction workers with living wall modules

Not only bringing significant benefits for local biodiversity and making the space more attractive, but studies have also shown that soil-based green walls are able to cool the surface area by 12-20 degrees compared to a bare wall.  This also has a positive impact on the ambient air temperature (temperature of the immediate surroundings).

The project was funded by donations from the Arts Festival Group, an Area Board grant, the community, and the Town Council.

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