WILDFLOWERS could be planted on verges throughout York - as councillors backed plans to do more for bees, butterflies and insects.

Councillor Dave Taylor told a City of York Council meeting that our crops, wildlife, countryside and gardens are under threat because of the destruction of biodiversity.

And he asked councillors to support an action plan to stop the decline - by planting wildflowers on verges, parks and other open spaces.

He said: “It’s not just a question of making the city look pretty. Indeed wildflower-rich grasslands can look rather untidy at certain times of the year.

“It’s not even about the money. York isn’t going to save £93,000 like Dorset [which saves the money by only cutting rural road verges when needed].”

He added that a survey found that since the Second World War 97 per cent of wildflower meadows in England and Wales have been destroyed.

Cllr Mark Warters backed the plans, saying: “It’s one of the most important and sensible motions I have seen.

“This will initially cost money to set up and results will not happen overnight.

“It might seem obscure to some but without pollinating insects the world’s food sources would be very quickly compromised and the consequences for the human race shouldn’t need spelling out.”

Cllr Taylor said there had been a serious drop in the numbers of pollinating insects and added that half of bumblebee species were in decline with three already extinct. He added that 71 per cent of butterflies were in long-term decline.

The proposals were approved unanimously by councillors.