Recent drought conditions have given local wildflowers a chance to shine, initiating a potential change in the management of some Armidale region parks.
Less frequent mowing due to the drought and then rain in January enabled bluebells, pea flowers and other wildflowers to establish themselves.
Armidale Regional Council Mayor Simon Murray said the native wildflowers and grasses were a rare sight in the city's parks for decades because the spaces had previously been mown regularly.
"It's a rare opportunity to identify all the wildflowers and other plants that are making a comeback," he said.
"There are wildflowers such as lilies and even native orchids that could possibly return from dormancy without regular intervention.
"We're looking at changing our management of suitable parks, to rest these areas and promote natural regeneration. If they appear to be self sustaining, it provides a great opportunity to showcase our often overlooked grasslands."
Cr Murray said while the region was yet to receive sufficient rain to end the drought, welcome falls in January brought local parks back to life.
"Council's Parks team is now working to overcome a backlog of mowing throughout the region, prioritising areas of fast growing introduced grasses and giving wildflowers at some parks a further opportunity to reveal themselves," he said.
Patches of Drummond Park, below the Apex lookout, a section of the creeklands near Centennial Avenue and a section of the north facing slope within the Arboretum are being set aside, and will not be mown for the remainder of the season.
"Conserving these wildflower meadows would improve urban biodiversity, provide resources for insects, birds and other animals and bring a spectacular show," Cr Murray said.
"One of these areas will complement the stunning showcase plantings along Dumaresq Creek established by the Armidale Urban Rivercare Group."
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