Upton Nature Garden – October update

We’re thrilled to report exciting and momentous progress towards supporting nature in our village. This weekend just past, villagers and other volunteers have planted 2500 bulbs and laid out the paths in the nature garden. This means that next spring there’ll be nectar for the early emerging bees – generally queen bumbles looking for food so they can build strength to find a nesting site – and a way to walk around the garden to get a look at the flowers and who they’re feeding.

So thank you to everyone who took part (all the more so if you stayed when it rained) from the toddlers to the elders, from the experts to the newbies, from the diehards to the sceptics – you made it a great community gathering and set the bar high for future volunteer events.

As it happens, our volunteer weekend was also the start of CO26 in Glasgow. Basically the last ditch attempt by the international community to arrest climate change. It’s worth noting that as the deliberations kicked off we were planting up a green space that will absorb carbon as well as providing other benefits.

Hedging our bets

Even though I’ve been devouring ‘A natural history of the hedgerow’ by John Wright, I still haven’t fathomed why we say “hedging our bets”. Is it to do with steeplechasing? Or investing in land? Please advise. What I do know is the next stage of the nature garden involves planting hedges.

Small at first, these unprepossessing stalks will develop into beautiful berry-laden, species-rammed, carbon-digesting chambers of greenfulness. Hedges, amazingly, can host thousands of species of plant, animal, lichen and fungus, and while we may not see them all, they all contribute to the ecosystem. It’ll be a while before we get to serious levels of biodiversity, but the main thing is to get started.

We’ll be planting wildlife-targeted hedge plants along the fence adjoining Station Road, and across the garden near the seating area. These hedges will provide habitat for pollinators and birds. The border with the rec stretching from the village hall to the fence adjoining Beeching Close will be planted with ‘edible’ hedging – plants bearing berries and fruits which can be used for jams, syrups, and other home uses, which was a recommendation from County Councillor Sally Povolotsky who generously allocated funding to the garden.

To get these hedges planted, along with shrubs for the woodland area, we really need your help (again!) later this month. We don’t know dates yet because we have to wait for the supplier to say when they can deliver. But if you’re willing and able when the time comes, please don’t be shy.


Upton Nature Garden Volunteers