Community Garden Design for attracting wildlife in Leicestershire
I have been working on a community garden design for attracting wildlife at Leicester Animal Aid in Leicestershire. The garden has been built by volunteers, and to date they have created a network of paths, a wildlife pond, and bird-watching hides. There’s an amazing bug hotel, plus a gazebo to offer shelter for the centre visitors and staff within the garden.
The aim is to create a space where anyone can come along and feel among friends. LAA help elderly people get out of their houses by picking them up and bringing them to the centre for a day out. They also encourage groups of children to come along and connect with nature, or welcome anyone who just feels a bit lonely and in need of support or company.
If you are interested in creating your own Eco-Garden Design, find out more here
The latest development in the garden is one I have been really excited to see. I asked a wonderful artist friend of mine to create a totem pole for the bottom of the garden. The idea is to create a secluded seating area, with the totem providing a focus for when you need a bit of mindfulness time.
Getting children involved in gardening
Today I went along with my son to help install the totem. The artist has done a fantastic job sculpting an old tree trunk into an animal themed sculpture. One side of the pole depicts a dog scrambling up the trunk, with a cat climbing down to meet it. A montage of small creatures taken from drawings by young members of the Huncote Hounds Club forms the reverse. It was brilliant including children in the creative process and seeing their imaginings carved into life.
The children painted their animals before we hoisted the totem into its final position. The brightly coloured carvings face up the woodland path to attract people towards it, while the larger cat and dog carvings await discovery by whoever ventures to look. It really makes a dramatic and intriguing terminus for the journey down the garden and I hope it brings huge pleasure to the centre users.
Happily, woodland plants added late last year are gradually emerging. Garden Design for attracting wildlife means including a good mix of flowering plants and shrubs. The Leicestershire clay soil turned out to be far harder to dig than we thought. Volunteers had a right old battle getting the plants in! So it was with relief I saw so much green peeking through the mulch. They laid lots of mulch in autumn, and with repeated addition of organic matter the soil should improve.
All being well, we will address the barren top garden later this year and add sun loving plants to attract pollinators. However funding has become an issue with the initial sponsorship money having run out. Therefore I have been raising funds to help the charity buy enough plants to continue the work and bring this once dreary old dumping ground back to life. However I could do with raising a bit more in time for spring!
I would really appreciate your help by donating the price of a plant or two. Just £5 would make a big difference. If you would like to bring some colour into people’s lives please visit my fundraising page: