Local children help transform community garden for wildlife and older residents

(c) Daniel Parkinson

60 Year 4 students from Green End Primary School in Manchester braved the wind and the rain last week to help transform an underused garden area into a space which is fantastic for wildlife and older residents.

The project from local provider Southway Housing Trust, which being led by Lancashire Wildlife Trust, has been shaped by consultation with older residents who share the garden. One of the key improvements which many of the residents had highlighted was for more colourful wildflowers in the garden.

Children from Green End Primary School in Burnage, Manchester, helped plant over 100 native wildflowers which will help to transform a boggy area of the garden into a colourful oasis which is perfect for bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects. Despite the muddy hands and squelchy feet the children had a brilliant time and were keen to come back and visit the garden once the wildflowers had come into bloom.

Green End Primary School Children

Angela Hurst, teacher at Green End Primary School said “The children had a brilliant time making such a positive difference in the local community. As well as helping to create a brand new wildlife area this activity linked in brilliantly with their Eco objectives and so it was great for their learning as well”.

This work is part of Southway Housing Trust’s wider aspiration to improve the quality and recreation value of greenspaces in South Manchester – including communal gardens shared by older tenants.

Claire Drury, Urban Ranger for Southway Housing Trust said “We are committed to creating safe, beautiful, welcoming and accessible green spaces for our tenants and local communities - which includes our local wildlife.

"Transforming an unused space into a place that older tenants can enjoy and will want to spend time in helps to reduce isolation and create a sense of neighbourliness. Through projects like this, therefore, we can achieve multiple outcomes: building stronger communities and contributing to a healthier society, whilst also enhancing biodiversity.”

Green End Primary School Children

James Hall, Senior Project Manager for Lancashire Wildlife Trust said: “Children from Green End Primary School planted a wide range of species including Purple Loosestrife, Ragged Robin and Marsh Marigold which have beautiful vibrant colours as well as being great nectar sources for insects.

"It was brilliant to have such enthusiastic children involved in this project to create a garden which is as important for the older residents as it is for our local wildlife”

As well as the wildflower planting, Lancashire Wildlife Trust has taken steps to improve the garden for wildlife by planting a new 500m native hedgerow and 4 trees to provide more foraging habitat for birds and small mammals. A series of insect log hotels, bird boxes, bat boxes and a bird feeding station have all added to help create a garden stocked full of feeding and nesting sites for local wildlife.