Bay Pond, in Godstone, is a private educational nature reserve run by Surrey Wildlife Trust. Closed to the general public, it is used for school visits and holiday clubs. However, the Trust is now looking to make Bay Pond’s wildlife garden more accessible to the local community, as well as demonstrating how to create wild spaces with recycled materials.
The garden will be enlarged to three times its current size, with increased pathways and an area of meadow habitat. Fruit trees, herbs, ponds, raised beds and a patio garden, as well as a greenhouse constructed from plastic bottles, will also feature.
To kickstart the project, Lucy Cahill, wildlife garden project officer at Bay Pond, posted a request on the Godstone Facebook group for unwanted items, such as bricks and paving, seating, old windows, straw for bug hotels, and planters. She received a fantastic response and many donations:
“By up-cycling things that would otherwise be thrown away, we want to show that making a space for nature doesn’t have to cost the earth. The garden will be full of ideas to inspire people to take action for wildlife in their own backyard, so that together we can connect habitats across the county and create a Wilder Surrey.”
The Trust has future ambitions to run wildlife gardening courses and photography workshops at the garden, as well as establishing volunteer groups and encouraging people to learn new skills at community garden days. It will also be organising projects with local schools, where visiting groups will be able take away what they have learnt and reproduce the wildlife haven in their own school grounds.
For more information visit www.surreywildlifetrust.org