Monday, 17 May 2010

Garden for the Children

We’re trying to persuade the local council who manage the cemetery adjacent to the Church to use a corner for a garden for the youngsters. Helen’s idea – the proposal is to have a wild garden and a more formal area. The wild garden would have bird boxes, bat boxes and rotting wood to encourage insects. We already have a rare butterfly - the white hairstreak – living in some elms in the Churchyard. The local natural society is planning to plant some more elm trees to maintain the colony. The butterfly only lives on elms and, not surprisingly, has suffered since Dutch elm disease.

The second part of the garden would have raised beds so that the children can grow some flowers and small vegetables. The area proposed for the garden is adjacent to the by-pass. The proposals have met with a very positive enthusiastic response from lots of people. We’ve had e-mails offering to sow extra seeds or give spare plants and the raised beds are already committed.

I’ve had an initial informal meeting with some of the council representatives – they happened to be in the cemetery when I was visiting the Church. I sense that the wild garden is not an issue because it’s in an area that is already fairly wild – to the left of the photo below. However, I sense some unease about the raised beds: we clearly need to ensure that any planting is sensitive: no beans or similar tall plants and nothing that makes the place look untidy. It also needs not to look inappropriate from the adjacent cemetery.

I hope we manage to persuade the councils of the value of this to the community because I’m sure that many people – not just the youngsters – will benefit.

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