THE city has rarely quite so literally lived up to its motto “Let Glasgow Flourish”.

Scotland’s biggest local authority has decided to let hundreds of thousands of flowers blossom this year – and for many more.

City leaders have agreed to plant 250,000 bulbs and set out 30 new wildflower meadows over up to 50 hectares.

Their aim is far from cosmetic. Glasgow, like many other cities, is increasingly aware of the need to promote biodiversity. And that means it needs space for pollinators, small mammals and birds, invertebrates and a wide range of plant species.

On top of the designated meadows, seeds will be sown on a range of plots that includes parks, road verges and steep slopes that are difficult to maintain.

The city in a statement said: “It is anticipated that the extent of meadow land in the city will grow by one hectare per year, which will mean a further five large-scale meadows to be created over the next four years and eight other sites to be enhanced with additional wildflower planting.”

The move will mark significant changes in how open space is managed.

Councillor Anna Richardson said: “Even though we live in a highly urban environment, our most recent audit of the city’s biodiversity identified 6,200 different species alive in Glasgow. We have a clear responsibility to nurture biodiversity in Glasgow and we can help to do that by creating spaces where a wide range of species can thrive and flourish.

“Wildflower meadows act as habitats for pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, which are a crucial component in the sustainability of our wider environment. These meadows are also an increasingly attractive addition to our parks and can add colour to otherwise unwelcoming spaces such as central reservations along roads.

“But leaving land to grow more naturally has an additional benefit that allows us to redirect resources to our wider parks operation and help ensure our parks remain one of most loved features of the city.”

The initiative to extend the coverage of wildflower meadows is part of the city’s Local Biodiversity Action Plan, which includes a specific plan to support pollinator species within Glasgow. Taken together, the plans are delivering or working on over 100 actions to enhance biodiversity, assist and develop ecosystems and encourage volunteering across the city.

The contribution of voluntary groups such as The Conservation Volunteers and the RSPB has been crucial to the effort to create wildflower meadows.

Volunteers have been active in areas such as Robroyston Park, Linn Park, the Cart and Kittoch Site of Special Scientific Interest, Cleddans Burn and Cardowan Moss.

Springburn Park is one area that has been earmarked for the development of a new wildflower meadow.

The work involves stripping back scrub or cutting grass and removing all the vegetation so that ground suitable for wildflower planting is created.

The plan will also see the nursery at Pollok Country Park be used as sowing and growing areas for wildflowers with a focus on nurturing wildflowers that are native to Scotland.

Local authorities across the UK are gradually changing how they manage open spaces, such as the verges of roads.

Many councils, including Edinburgh, are cutting back on traditional mowing, allowing grass to seed and flowers and other plants to grow.

Britain’s big roads management regulators, like Highways England and Transport Scotland, last week were given new guidelines under which main road verges will only be cut twice a year, down from the previous four.

Glasgow is in a race to be Britain’s first city to get to zero net carbon. That includes dramatic plans to re-green what was once the dear, green place.

Last month the Herald revealed the city was so keen to plant more trees that it is considering proposals to re-forest its golf courses.

Now an influential group of councillors has called for the courses - including the 18-hole Littlehill, Lethamhill and Linn Park - to be turned into forests, wetlands or even allotments if they shut.

The council’s climate emergency working group – in a major document still under consideration – said: “Depending on the outcome of the current public consultation into the future of Glasgow’s public golf courses, it may be that some of these under-utilised sites are also repurposed for food growing, tree planting or as a carbon sink.”