Bringing Wildlife Closer to Home
Probably the most ambitious, but also the most important part of the project are the gardens. Conservationists are recognising that private gardens can be an important wildlife refuge in areas where agriculture is intensive and housing is increasing. Many householders have an image of nettles and other weeds when thinking of wildlife gardens. The aim of the Sudbury Meadow gardens is to show that it is possible to have attractive, ornamental as well as productive gardens, which are beneficial to our wildlife. The gardens use organic techniques to reduce harm to both the volunteers and wildlife.
The Wildlife garden in July 2011
There are three gardens, each 13m by 8m, which was judged as an average sized garden for most homeowners. All the gardens use a mixture of native plants and well-behaved garden cultivars. As the site is within the floodplain and the gardens are within a native meadow, the decision was taken avoid plants which would either spread into the meadow and hence along the floodplain, or which would cross-pollinate with existing species, such as Geranium. Each of the gardens has a loose theme. One has been designed as a general wildlife garden, incorporating a number of different features which will help a variety of wildlife. The middle garden has been designed with birds in mind, with a mixture of native fruit and shrubs as well as herbaceous plants. The third garden has the sunniest aspect, so has been designed for butterflies and other insects.
Burgeoning Bird garden in July 2011
Apples ripening in the Butterfly garden in July 2011
The creation and maintenance of the gardens is the responsibility of Friends of Sudbury Meadow. Funding was greatly helped by a grant from TCV's People's Places Award Scheme during 2003-05 and a donation from the estate of Terry Palmer in 2010, for which we are very grateful. We welcome help from any sources, including schools and other interested groups. If you would like to become involved, please get in touch.
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