Sheffield gets UK's 'first air pollution garden'

Dr Val Martin of the University of Sheffield
Image caption The air quality garden, funded by the White Rose Universities Consortium, was been planted by around 20 Sheffield children

A garden that monitors the effects of pollution has been planted in Sheffield.

A plot at Sheffield Botanical Gardens has been planted with species sensitive to ozone pollution, including lettuce and wheat.

The project is a collaboration between the universities of Sheffield, Leeds and York.

"Air pollution is invisible, but the plants and pigments will show up its effects," said Dr Maria Val Martin.

Image caption Sheffield's Botanical Gardens are sandwiched between the busy areas of Ecclesall Road and Brocco Bank. The city is said to be one of the most polluted in the UK

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Dr Val Martin said the 6x8m (20 x 26ft) garden will visually demonstrate the effects of pollution on plants with discolouring of the leaves.

Snap beans and clover have been planted alongside lettuce and wheat, and coneflower and milkweed will be added in a few months.

She said people will also be able to read information about plants' ability to absorb chemicals, and about air pollution's effects on humans.

Image caption Dr Val Martin, who lectures in Environmental Protection at the University of Sheffield, said the garden will demonstrate the effects of air pollution on plants

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