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Greening Cathays and Beyond

26 April 2021

An ambitious new project from the Pharmabees team is looking to increase green spaces throughout Cardiff. Initially the project is focussed on the Cathays area, with planters being installed and electrical boxes being painted with street art.

This project has been taking place for nearly a year and plans are afoot to expand the planting to Splott and Grangetown. Research has shown that increased use of green spaces can reduce long-term health problems such as heart disease, cancer, and musculoskeletal conditions - and alleviate the severity of stress-related symptoms. Being around nature calms us and takes our minds off the business of everyday life and stressful situations.

Housing stock in Cathays consists primarily of high density, multiple occupancy, Victorian housing occupied primarily by students who make up the majority the population during term time. Streets in Cathays are among the lowest in Cardiff in terms of greenery (1%), well below the Welsh average of 13%. The plants sewn in Cathays to rectify this dearth of greenery include dandelions, cornflowers, white clovers, bluebells, lavender, daffodils, snowdrops and many more. All of these plants have been introduced in an effort to create patches of green in an urban desert and to provide food for insects and birds, in a bid to increase biodiversity and pollinator populations in the city.

The project is also looking to enlist citizen scientists to record the what type of insects migrate into the area using a selection of resources, including their Spot-a-bee App, which is available from both the Apple app store and Google Play.

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