The Council recently decided to regenerate the space to mitigate against climate change, to make the area more bio-diverse and to improve public involvement with and use of the space. Their aim was to create a destination in the village for the public to meet to sit and reflect, but which was sustainable and supporting local wildlife.
It was important to the council to involve the people in the parish so they could take ownership over the project. Their first step was to get young people involved by working with the school to gather designs for the project.
They asked Mrs Ethelston’s primary schoolchildren to submit designs to be installed within the garden. There were 4 categories: an entrance sign, 3 mosaic panels, a hedgehog habitat and an insect habitat. The Councillors who judged the designs, Cllr Mrs Claire Wiscombe (who is leading the project) and Cllr Colin Pratt, were extremely impressed with the huge number of designs submitted.
On Monday 14th November, the Chair of the Parish Council, Cllr Chris James and one of the judges Cllr. Colin Pratt, handed out a certificate and prize to each of the winning entrants. Well done everyone!
The next phase will be for all the children to make the winning mosaic panel designs to become a reality during after-school clubs, collection and donation of materials to make the habitats and creation of a seasonal and pollinator-friendly planting design.
The council has also received donations of plants for the area from the local Rotary Club, which is a great example of how a local organisation can get involved with parish council projects. Their next step will be to start making grant-funding applications, and to create a planting plan in the new year so the community can get involved with creating a sustainable, bio-diverse space to watch nature in action.
See some of the beautiful designs from the schoolchildren below: