By Angela Jones, community adviser with Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Suffolk Wildlife Trust has recently been able to extend its outreach work to inspire on the ground action for wildlife by helping more people create, monitor and enjoy wildlife-rich spaces where they live. Support from the Heritage Lottery Fund has meant that we have been able to work alongside community groups to develop really local wildlife projects either from scratch or by supporting existing initiatives. One of the community groups we have been working closely with over the past few years has been the Framlingham Community Garden. The garden was started in 2010 with the aim being to develop an area for the whole community to come and share, learn and enjoy. Initially we planted a native hedge around the site followed by local fruit trees. We then helped develop a wildlife area, extending the small area of woodland to create a wildflower meadow.
Having Sir Robert Hitcham’s Primary School right on the door step of Framlingham Mere meant we were able to offer every child in the school mini-beast hunting and dyke dipping sessions, exploring the Mere from a bugs eye view. Subsequently the school became involved with the Community Garden with the children now visiting on a weekly basis growing their own veggies and being nature detectives in the wildlife area. The initial idea of creating a community garden was made possible when Framlingham College were able to make some of their land available for the wider community to enjoy. Young people from the school also benefit and regularly take part in work parties to maintain and develop the area.
“Children learn by watching what their parents and grandparents are doing. They have a real connection with the garden from an early age and understand where their food comes from. They have a lot of fun at the same time.” Gem Seally parent and one of the founding members of the Community Garden
One of the most enjoyable aspects that I have found working with the Framlingham Community Garden has been being making connections with other organisations and groups within the town. We’ve been able to engage local nurseries and schools, to reach families through activity days and allow people to enjoy other wild spaces in the town including the Mere, cemetery and churchyard.
This and many of the projects featured in this column have received support from the Heritage Lottery Funded Networking Nature initiative. (HLF logo)
If you’d like your local wildlife project featured here please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org
Forthcoming events with Suffolk Wildlife Trust:
Guided Walk: Butterflies
Sunday 21 June, 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Venue: Bradfield Woods, Felsham Road, Bradfield St George
Wild Woods pop-up cafe at Bradfield Woods
Sun day 21 June, 10:00am – 4:00pm
Venue: Bradfield Woods, the Wild Woods pop-up cafe is open for coffee and cakes in the Bradfield Woods green oak centre
Evening walk for nightjars and glow worms
Friday 26 June, 9:30pm – 10:30pm
Venue: Blaxhall Heath and Common
Wildlife walk with Woodbridge Wildlife Group, no need to book