Thank you to all of those members of staff who joined us this week to help clear the space ready for our first pollinator garden.
It was no small feat - there were large, non-native trees and shrubs that needed removing, lots of brambles, and huge amounts of ivy. While it was hard work and the baking sun didn't let up, we made great progress and I think overall everyone enjoyed the cathartic hacking back and stripping out involved!
Some quick Q&As:
Why were we taking out mature shrubs and trees?
While on the surface it definitely is questionable to remove trees, the species in this bed were all non-native and had significantly outgrown their space. They were planted back before the University favoured native species and it was felt that there would be greater benefits to biodiversity to remove them and replace them with a pollinator garden.
Why this space when we have loads of open parkland?
Our project funding is to create a 'demonstration garden' - so a space that people could look at and get inspiration from to create at home. We therefore felt that this space, which was feeling rather neglected' was a good option. It is surrounded by buildings, as many people's homes will be, and the soil isn't great. It is however central to the campus so with some signage could be seen by many people. We want to show what can be achieved in this less typical space for a garden!
What happens next?
The next phase of our project is going to be putting in the structures needed to start planting. We are aiming to create a flowering herb garden in this space as it is next to the University's kitchens, so it will be both useful for food preparation and for pollinators. We will look to plant hardy, drought tollerant species with a nod to our increasingly hot dry summers.
Can I still get involved?
Yes please! Email me and I will pop you on the mailing list for invites to future working groups.