A new wildlife-friendly flowerbed has been created in Water Tower Gardens, in a pretty but often-overlooked corner of the walls.
The project was masterminded by Friends Of The Earth Chester, working in conjunction with The Garden Quarter, VivoCare and Chester West and Chester Council.
The Garden Quarter is a group working to build upon the great community spirit of this part of Chester, making the area an even better place for residents.
VivoCare is a local service provider supporting people with learning disabilities, autism spectrum conditions and older people, enabling their service users to be an active part of the community.
The organisations purchased attractive plants with flowers that would be beneficial to bees, other pollinators, and butterflies. Friends Of The Earth then arranged a family planting day, inviting local community groups and residents to come and get their hands dirty.
A large number of families and local organisations, notably a local Scout troop, came to help on a gloriously sunny day. Although it was quite windy, the two gazebos (one for home-made refreshments and one for information on the Friends Of The Earth Bee Cause campaign) held up well.
Within three hours the whole bed had been planned out, raked and planted. Adults tired themselves out working with larger plants at the back of the plot, and children (the youngest just two) enjoyed planting smaller plants and bulbs at the front.
The next stage of the project to encourage wildlife is the clearing of the overgrown terraces above the flowerbed and going back to the city walls. This work has already begun. Once the terraces are clear, Friends Of The Earth will plant wild flowers to brighten up the area and attract pollinators.
Water Tower Gardens is part of a designated Conservation Area, and the tower and the wall itself are scheduled ancient monuments. This area is a community facility which is situated off Tower Road.
Friends Of The Earth are involved with the project as part of their Bee Cause campaign, which encourages people and organisations to help save bees and other pollinators, all of which are threatened by habitat loss and pesticides.
They are also encouraging everyone to get involved with the Great British Bee Count, which is a national citizen science survey of bees across the UK. The Bee Count app, which is free to download onto mobile devices, allows users to record bee sightings and helps to identify which species have been found.