Saturday 26 April 2008

Lots of change at the wildlife garden

Yesterday, I wrote about a woman's attempts to build a wildlife garden. I had gone to see the garden and exchanged some emails about a week earlier, but it seems a lot can change in a week. After posting on my blog, I got this email:

"Hi, I’m Jennifer "Jami" Wearn, the crazy lady who came up with the idea for the wildlife garden here in Burham Close, like in says in A Bad Witch's Blog I came up with the idea because I wanted some frogs to help with my veggies in my garden - they eat the slugs so I'm told..

I looked at the site and tried to picture what could be put into the garden and we were put in touch with a lovely lady from High Elms Centre. She came down and looked at the site and told me what could be put into the wildlife garden... I was surprised at how much could be done with such a little space but she convinced me it can all be done and a lot more...

So I went away and started some doodles as to what in time the garden could look like. I then had a meeting with some top bods at the council and they all agreed it would be a great idea. They looked at the temporary drawing I had done and could see its potential...

From here they told us what I would need to do next... the red tape... First we would need planning permission. Then a license to enable the group to lease the site... all of which would need to be paid for... so we went away and started to look at ways to fund everything..

I started to collect items from Freecycle and have almost completed the collection from just this site alone...

After talking with a friend of mine he suggested asking The Round Table if they could help with the planning fees and license fees so I complete these forms and I wait to hear from them in the very near future...

I was put in touch with Community Links who help groups like ours to get grants and funds for projects just like mine. So I’m filling in those forms too. They have also given me a mentor who will help with developing the plans in its progress and marketing it etc and publicity etc too.

I leafleted every house and flat on the estate to inform them all of what I planned to do in the hope I'd get more ideas and hopefully help when it comes to the hard work of changing the site... fingers crossed.

As time went by I was given other ideas and gained more knowledge and the original plans grew and grew. I’ve now got a shed which will act like a hide as well as a storage shed for tools. I’ve been lucky with the support I’ve had from Freecycle - not only ideas but people offering to do the drawings for me too, so the ball is rolling.
Now so we should have the garden up and running in no time at all.

Someone gave me ideas on having a tyre raised bed and then after visiting other wildlife centres I got more ideas to improve my garden (I don’t really like using mine as it will be everyone’s). I hope that schools and groups will use the site and will also help with its up keep but really the purpose is for the community to get together and work together to develop a bit of waste land into something really special. And to increase their own knowledge of the wildlife in the own back gardens as well as to help increase the ever declining wildlife...

I love butterflies and they mean so much to me... life is like a butterfly the more you struggle the more beautiful you become my nanny always said because the more the butterfly struggles to get out of their chrysalis the stronger and more beautiful their wings are..

We have had to change our group to a new one as the previous group folded but I wanted to continue with getting the wildlife garden up and running so with the help of some very lovely people who live either on the estate or close by have volunteered to help set up a new group with plenty of new ideas and new energy.

We hope the group will in time change every bit of waste land on the estate and hope other residents groups etc will get ideas for their local wasted spaces...

My next project will hopefully get the play area change here in Burham Close as it’s a very weak excuse for a playground... so watch this space

Many thanks and hope to hear from you soon

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