Visitors and locals in one of Moray’s most popular holiday destinations are enjoying a splash of floral colour thanks to a trial being carried out by council lands and parks staff.
Earlier this summer, they sowed a variety of wildflower seeds on the esplanade overlooking the seafront at Lossiemouth.
Now the area - enjoying its busiest time of the year at the height of the holiday season - has been transformed into a riot of colour for all to enjoy.
Moray Council’s lands and parks section discontinued laying out and maintaining flower beds several years ago as part of budget cuts but earlier this year took up an offer from seed specialists Euroflor of a demonstration on how to create low-cost, low-maintenance floral displays.
At a cost of just £20, a mix of different varieties of wildflowers – including poppies, cornflower and corn marigold - was sown into a disused flower bed on the esplanade and at two other locations.
Now in full bloom, they have become a big attraction with local people and holidaymakers alike and have been photographed countless times, as well as becoming a big hit on social media.
From an environmental perspective, the flowers are also proving attractive to bees and other insects.
“Our supplier was keen to see how the wildflower mixes would grow in the Scottish climate and the esplanade display has the distinction of being the most northerly in the country,” said assistant lands and parks officer Grant Speed.
“This has been very much a trial in partnership with our supplier and Euroflor and the flowers have been attracting a lot of attention and favourable comment.
“This type of display has advantages over the flower beds that we used to have in that it is low cost, it takes only a few minutes to sow the seed and once the seed germinates the flowers take care of themselves.”
Lossiemouth councillor John Cowe said the displays were a welcome innovation, all the more so since they were low cost and required little maintenance.
“That is obviously a major consideration given the council’s financial position,” he said. “Sowing wildflowers to brighten up their own areas is maybe something that local community groups could think about for next season.”
Moray Council area stretches from Tomintoul in the south to the shores of the Moray Firth, from Keith in the east to Forres in the west. The council and its 4,500 employees respond to the needs of 95,510 residents in this beautiful part of Scotland, which nestles between Aberdeenshire and the Highlands.
Famous for its colony of dolphins, fabulous beaches and more malt whisky distilleries than any where else in Scotland, Moray is a thriving area and a great place to live.
Headquartered in Elgin, the administrative capital of Moray.