A wall once described as being the “ugliest in Wiltshire” has been transformed into a living green space that now attracts butterflies, bees and other insects.

Bradford on Avon Town Council on Friday (July 29) unveiled an environmental project aiming to improve the town's eco-impact whilst making it look even more beautiful.

The £34,000 living green wall at the entrance to Bridge Yard is the first of its kind in the South West and the largest in Britain outside a city.

Stephanie Edwards, of Kingston Mills, who kick-started the project, was ecstatic after the results were ‘liked’ by more than 1,000 people on social media in the first 24 hours after completion.

She said: “I brought the idea to the town council, as a project to help improve the air quality in the heart of the town.

“I came to Bradford on Avon five years ago, and I came from a tourist background.

“I realised that the centre of this town was so beautiful, with its café culture, but there was this grim wall. Apparently, it was known as one of the ugliest walls in Wiltshire.”

She set about trying to raise funding for the Living Green Wall in December 2019, but said it became extremely difficult during the Covid pandemic in 2020.

Councillor Alex Kay, Chair of the Environment & Green Spaces committee, said: “With the addition of the living green wall, Bradford on Avon is making further strides toward becoming a town which can be held up as eco-friendly and eco-conscious.

“I hope the whole community – residents, businesses and visitors will look on at this wall, smile and think ‘what can I do greener today?’”

Construction of the living green wall at the entrance to Bridge Yard began on Monday, July 18 and was completed by the contractors, ANS Global, on Thursday (July 28).

It covers the wall on the side of Alfred’s pre-loved men’s clothing shop and is directly opposite the local Co-Op store.

Steve McIntyre, founder and principal consultant of ANS Global, a Chichester-based company specialising living green walls and green roofs, designed the structure using more than 3,500 plants.

It is connected to an automated irrigation system and the town council will be responsible for its maintenance.

The council hopes the wall will not only attract visitors to the town, but it will have many benefits for residents, such as reducing carbon dioxide in the area by absorbing it.

The project has been funded by donations from the Bradford on Avon Arts Festival Group, a Wiltshire Council Area Board grant, the local community, and the town council.