Research by UK charity Plantlife and Renault found that one in five wildflowers in the UK are at risk of extinction due to pollution.
According to data, since the 1930s 97% of the country’s prairies and meadows have disappeared, while floral diversity is crumbling along the roadsides, typically home to hundreds of different species of wildflowers.
âNowhere is this more felt than on the sides of the roads, where air pollution from vehicles combined with poor management has seen flower diversity drop by 20% as vigorous species such as nettles can tolerate polluted soils have supplanted more delicate wildflowers like the bellflower, âcommented Plantlife Managing Director Ian Dunn.
âGrassland habitats such as road shoulders are critically important in the fight against climate change because they underpin biodiversity-rich ecosystems teeming with wildlife and trap carbon. “
Unveiled today, the research was commissioned by the French automotive giant ahead of COP26 to show its commitment to the net zero automotive transition. The group has also partnered with award-winning florist Larry Walshe, who has designed a facility to raise awareness of the positive effects of electric vehicles.
Barker filled Renault’s flagship electric vehicle Zoe with 2,500 British wildflowers and endangered species. The installation was unveiled in Victoria Park in London ahead of the United Nations conference.
“We all know electric driving is better for the planet, but one of the least discussed benefits of electric driving is the impact it will have on our own gardens and green spaces, âadded Tom Barker, Head of the electrification of Renault UK. âElectric driving benefits not only the planet as a whole, but also our green spaces that we love and care about so much. “