Posted 14th March
Following a successful first year, 'Somerset's Wildlife Gardens' are returning
The initiative will see eight of Somerset's most popular gardens, which are specifically designed to support some of the county's best-loved wildlife, open their doors for the public. The gardens are spread across the county and showcase unique features that provide special homes for some of our best loved species, from small mammals and pollinators, to birds and pond-dwellers.
Many of our much-loved species will struggle to find a habitat they need to survive including hedgehogs, bats and sparrows to name a few, with making our gardens wildlife-friendly becoming more important than ever to help them survive. In the UK there are approximately 16 million gardens - this is a vast amount of habitat for wildlife. Somerset Wildlife Trust is hoping people visit these inspiring gardens will inspire them to create either own wildlife-friendly gardens.
It could be putting bird feeders up in your garden or letting parts grow wild to create your own pond or involve putting up nesting boxes - there will be plenty of ways to protect Somerset's amazingly diverse wildlife by transforming our gardens, local green spaces, school playgrounds or office gardens a secure home.
Emma Jones, Somerset Wildlife Trust's Community Fundraiser, said: "Many of our much-loved and well-known garden species are under threat, in part due to habitat loss. Hedgehogs for example have experienced a decline of 30% in the UK over the last 10 years and are disappearing from our countryside as fast as tigers worldwide. This brings home to us that our garden wildlife needs our help. This is why it is so inspiring to see that so many people have dedicated time to create beautiful wildlife havens to support wildlife, and not only that they are opening them up to the public to inspire other to do more for wildlife too."
"For those who are looking for some inspiration on how to make their gardens wildlife-friendly or fancy a wonderful awe-inspiring day out – don’t miss out on these gorgeous gardens. These events are also fundraisers for Somerset Wildlife Trust as all hosts of the gardens will kindly donate the proceeds to the Trust to support its work across the county."
The eight gardens to be open are:
Hillcrest Wildflower Meadow and Ponds
Friday 13 April 11:00 - 16:00
There is a wildlife rich meadow and a stunning garden full of spring flowers - this will by full of spring flowers and is the ideal place to revive following a long winter. This is the first time Hillcrest has opened during the Spring.
Where: Hillcrest, Curload, TA3 6JA
Friday 18 May 11:00-16:00
Bracondale is a fabulous example of a garden that we can all try to create. The small meadow and pond attract all kinds of wildlife and make it a calm space to sit and ponder.
Where: Bracondale, Staplehay, Taunton, TA3 7HB
Hillcrest Wildflower meadows and gardens
Saturday 26 May 14:00 - 17:00
The stunning gardens and beautiful meadow is created and looked after by passionate wildlife gardeners. As an essential wildlife haven, it attracts and protects local species that will in turn give joy to everyone visiting.
Where: Hillcrest, Curload, TA3 6JA
Henley Hill farm
Wednesday 6 June, 11:00 - 16:00
Henley Hill Farm will allow you to see wildflower and grass rich meadows, along with pastures that offer incredible views. The meadow has been studied by experts from Somerset Wildlife Trust who were surprised by how many species of flora and fauna they found.
Where: Henley Hill farm, Haybridge, BA5 1AL
Model Farm Gardens
Sunday 17 June 11:00-16:00
Model Farm shows how nature can create a sanctuary within a decade. Gardeners have made Model Farm a beautiful sight which bursts with wildlife.
Where: Model farm, Perry Green, Wembdon, TA5 2BA
Millers Pond and Garden
Saturday 30 June 11:00-16:00
A wildlife jewel, you can combine your visit with a trip to Nunney castle.
Where: The Miller's House, Nunney, BA11 4NP
Badbury Flower Farm
Sunday 22 July 12:00-15:00
Visit this wonderful flower farm where the owner is a flower farmer! Beautiful blooms, bouquets and arrangements created for all occasions, you can come and see how they are made and get the chance to create your own posy.
Where: Badbury Dairy House, Isle Abbotts, Taunton, TA3 6RS
Thursday 26 July 11:00-17:00
This inspiring, peaceful wildlife garden is full of bumblebees, butterflies and bird song.
Where: Elworthy Cottage Plants, Elworthy, TA4 3PX
Lead image courtesy of Lynne Newton