We are always finding new and exciting ways to ensure that the county’s wildlife has a home, and that is why we are working in partnership with Taunton Association for the Homeless to develop a community wildlife garden in the town - in the land behind Lisieux Way Methodist Church.
The project started when Reverend Chris Brown gave permission to Taunton Association for the Homeless (TAH) to take on the area – they were also given a small seed fund to get the garden going. To have some extra help and expertise, Tony Francis from TAH asked us if we would like to get involved, and of course, we said yes!
The project was kick-started on the 28th July. Members of the public, along with the Mayor, were invited to come along to learn about the project. The response was fantastic, with many local people signing up to volunteer their time and transform the space into a wonderful place for nature and the community.
Great progress has already been made! The Team from our Routes to the River Tone Project have been supplying tools and developing a steering group of volunteers. The volunteers have already sought funding and got Marion Dale from Summerdale Garden Designs on board, who kindly drew up plans for the project.
Thanks to the efforts of volunteers the site has been cleared so the plans can be put into action as soon as possible. The next step is to get funding to do some landscaping! The project is not only fantastic for wildlife, but has many benefits for people too and we are looking forward to seeing people make the most of it.
Tony Francis sees the garden project as a great way to enhance people’s health and wellbeing:
“Working outdoors is not only good for you physically, it also enhances your mental health. By growing crops we are introducing people to healthy food and we are giving them a reason to come together and socialise, this is particularly important for people who have experienced homelessness and isolation. We also see the project as a learning and development opportunity for the whole community.”
Claire Mountjoy Education Officer for the Routes to the River Tone project agrees:
“It is well documented that when people spend time surrounded by nature they feel better. This project enables people to connect with their natural world, socialise, get active, learn about wildlife and do something worthwhile – all adding to people’s wellbeing. The garden will be a great place for wildlife and for people to enjoy.”
If you would like to get involved, the team is working on the garden every Thursday from 10am to 4pm, so just drop in when you can. If you have any questions about the project or would like to get involved, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org