Gloucester Road businesses take up the challenge to help wildlife

May 26 2016

Gloucester Road businesses take up the challenge to help wildlife

AVON Wildlife Trust has worked with the businesses of Gloucester Road Central to green up the neighbourhood and help save threatened wildlife and their habitats.

Wooden and metal planters have been built and planted up, to create what is known as an urban pollinator corridor.

Businesswoman, Sarah Thorp, planted up an old enamel bath outside her shop, Room 212, last year and encouraged other traders, keen to improve the business district, to do likewise.

A combination of Neighbourhood Partnership grants and My Wild City project funding has led to the businesses, running from Egerton Road junction up to Nevil Road, being offered the opportunity of having their own personalised pollinator planters.

Thirty businesses on this busy stretch of road ranging from cafe’s, boutiques, hardware stores, solicitors to food shops have been involved.

Matt Collis, My Wild City project officer, explained: “It shows what independent shops can do collectively to improve their environment and provides inspiration and a blueprint to others for what can be done.

Each has been designed to suit the needs of the shop, whether it is to incorporate somewhere to sit, signage or bicycles. We’ve used a variety of plants as we find it more successful when growing in the urban environment.”

Over the course of a week in early May, 50 new planters were installe, requiring 1,000 pieces of wood, 22 tonnes of supersoil and over 450 nectarrich plants, flowering shrubs and small trees.

Native wildflower species such as birds foot trefoil, wild strawberry and wild strawberry and herbs species including lavender, thyme and mint were included in planting plans drawn up by wildlife garden experts Earth Timber Stone.

As well as members of the Avon Wildlife Trust staff, volunteers gave up over 120 hours of their time to the cause.

A surgeon, an accountant and a waitress were among those who donned gardening gloves over the seven days.

The planters have attracted the interest of the BBC who have been out filming them for the new series of Springwatch, due to be broadcast from the end of May.