Charity partnership team cultivating wildlife garden in St Albans

Verulamium wildlife garden is being extended by volunteers from two charities.

Verulamium wildlife garden is being extended by volunteers from two charities. - Credit: Archant

Green-fingered animal lovers from two charities are helping to develop a wildlife garden in St Albans.

Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, who care for the garden, has teamed up with two charities – Emmaus, for homeless people, and HACRO, for ex-offenders.

Helpers from the charities will extend and cultivate the Verulamium wildlife garden, near Grebe House in the park.

A grant of £12,000 to open up the space was given to the trust in March last year by Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme.

The scheme offers money to community projects using profits collected from the 5p bag charge.

Weekly gardening parties will cultivate plants that support birds and pollinators – such as bees - and a chestnut fence has already been put up to circle the area.

Head of fundraising and communications at the trust, Emma Norrington, said: “The wildlife garden is a real community asset and we are very grateful to all the volunteers that work so hard to make this a really special place.”

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She said it is a “fantastic habitat for local wildlife”.

Community support manager at Emmaus, Jennifer Hewson, described it as a “wonderful project” for everyone.

She said: “Being outdoors and gardening is an activity that many enjoy but having a wildlife trust site to work on and helping with the project from start to finish is going to be really special.

“The team are really excited to get going and learn new techniques such as native hedge planting from the trust’s staff, let’s just hope the weather is kind to them.”

Chair of trustees at HACRO, Neil Ashley, emphasised how this project shows how ex-offenders can give back to the community.

People can visit the garden weekdays from 10am to 5pm, and the extension will be opening in the summer.