(Above) Bee on flower © Mark Horsford (below) DWT Wildlife Garden friendly plaque in the garden © Katie Wilkinson (below) Residents working on the pond © Mark Horsford
Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) has awarded a homeless shelter, Michael House in Bournemouth, a wildlife friendly gardening plaque in recognition of the wildlife friendly features the residents have added in the gardens of the hostel.
The residents have installed a pond which is now thriving with tadpoles, built planters from unwanted pallets, and created bird and bat boxes, which are now occupied. Visitors have donated cuttings and shrubs, and Waitrose in Christchurch donated unsaleable plants which the residents have nurtured back to life.
We have created a relaxing environment with a community feel, and a real home for wildlife!
CEO of Michael House, Mark Horsford, said, “It has been wonderful to see the residents come together on this project. Their hard work and enthusiasm has created a relaxing environment with a community feel, and more importantly, a real home for wildlife. Being awarded the Dorset Wildlife Trust wildlife friendly gardening plaque is a fantastic recognition of the hard work they’ve put in. We’ve even taken our support sessions out into the garden to help our residents feel less confined and more able to interact and relax.”
"Seeing the garden change has made me believe my life can change"
One Michael House resident said, “The changes to the garden have been an inspiration to me. Seeing the garden change has made me believe that my life can change. Things can only get better if you put the hard work in first. I love sitting in the garden now.”
Spending time outside can make you feel better
Great Heath Community Conservation Officer, Katie Wilkinson, said, “We were delighted to award Michael House a wildlife gardening plaque after seeing the changes they’ve made to their garden for the benefit wildlife. It’s a real pleasure to witness the positive effects spending time outside can have on all of us and how nature can improve the quality of our lives.”
Find out more about wildlife friendly gardening
To find out how you can apply for a wildlife friendly gardening plaque in your garden, big or small, visit the wildlife friendly gardening webpages or phone the Great Heath team on 01202 692033.
Find out more about Michael House
Michael House plan to create an allotment in their second garden and create a recycled garden feature this year’s Recycling Week. For more information about Michael House visit their website or @michaelsltd on Twitter.
Notes to Editor
For more information please contact Sally Welbourn at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.
Working for a secure future for Dorset’s wildlife enriching the quality of life
Follow us on Twitter @dorsetwildlife and facebook.com/dorsetwildlife
Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living. Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 25,000 members and over 40 nature reserves. Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows and Brownsea Island Nature Reserves, The Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve. DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.
The Great Heath Living Landscape an Urban Living Landscape in Dorset will deliver the following exciting objectives:
- To provide enhanced opportunities for visitors and local residents to enjoy and learn about the area's fantastic natural heritage
- To improve physical access to local green space close to high density urban areas
- To develop relationships with local landowners in order to enhance conservation management of land in private ownership and to open up access to more greenspace in the area.
- To provide increased involvement and volunteering opportunities for people in a variety of wildlife habitats on the urban margin
- To improve access to the marine environment on the fringes of Poole Harbour to improve its conservation value and increase public awareness and enjoyment
Sites include land at Hampreston and High Mead Lane, Award Road, Ferndown Common, Delph Wood, Arrowsmith Copse, Dunyeats Hill, Corfe Lodge Road, Upton Heath, Beacon Hill, Cottage Farm (Happy Bottom), Ashington Paddock, Barrow Hill, Wimborne Road, Rushcombe Bottom, Parley Common, Tricketts Cross, Lytchett Bay and Holes Bay.
The full Great Heath Living Landscape project will cost will be £4.7 million, we have already secured £2 million and have been awarded £2.7 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and need to raise further funds by public appeal.
The Great Heath Living Landscape is a partnership project involving Dorset Wildlife Trust, the Erica Trust, Poole Harbour Commissioners, Borough of Poole, Dorset County Council Countryside Service, Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust. Partners also include Bournemouth Borough Council, Christchurch and East Dorset Councils and Natural England.
Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported 36,000 projects with £6bn across the UK. For more information, please contact Katie Owen, HLF press office, on tel: 020 7591 6036/07973 613820.