Garden group transforms untidy corner of Honiton car park into wildlife haven

PUBLISHED: 11:30 18 April 2018

The notice board is unveiled at the new planted area in the Beehive car park.

The notice board is unveiled at the new planted area in the Beehive car park.

Archant

A group of green-fingered volunteers has transformed a corner of a Honiton car park into a haven for wildlife.

The work has been done by the Beehive Garden Group at the car park outside The Beehive community centre, in Dowell Street.

Before the group’s work, the area was an untidy piece of waste ground at the end of The Beehive car park.

Now, it is a vibrant and colourful space thanks to the hundreds of bulbs and wildflowers planted by the volunteers.

Alan Shuttleworth, a member of the group - which was formed in 2014, said: “We have gradually been introducing plants for pollinators which have attracted bees and butterflies as well as insects such as hoverflies, ladybirds and shieldbugs.

“The bug hotel and compost heap we created provide further areas for these creatures to live; for instance we have found slow worms living in the warmth of the compost.”

Mr Shuttleworth hopes the garden can attract hedgehogs, whic he says have ‘significantly declined in numbers’ in recent years.

He added: “Over the last three years we were fortunate enough to be one of the groups to gain support from the Blackdown Hills Natural Futures project.

“Part of this included a visit from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust when the planting of spring bulbs and lavenders was suggested after a site visit.

“The Natural Futures Project was able to fund these as well as another picnic bench so that visitors can sit and enjoy the garden we have created.

“One evening while I was weeding round the lavenders I spotted a young hedgehog.

“It is hoped that this year we will be able to further enhance the garden for hedgehogs which have significantly declined in numbers in recent years.”

A new display board was recently unveiled at the garden to mark the successful completion of its work with the Natural Future Project.

Mr Shuttleworth said: “We hope that this will encourage people to explore the garden and also join us to maintain and develop the garden in the coming years.”

The Beehive Garden Group was formed following on from the projects members worked on as part of the Honiton Transition Town group.

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